I know I’m VERY late to post the May Mask Maven bag since I already received the June one but I honestly contemplated in not even doing a review for May since it was just OKAY (also because of other things going on in my life like finding a new job and going to Vegas for a bachelorette getaway). However after receiving the June Mask Maven, I noticed Beauteque improved on some things I felt were lacking in their new subscription service endeavors. For records sake, I’m posting the May Mask Maven and some initial thoughts and I will definitely post a June review before the month is over like a good blogger should. Yea, that didn’t happen but you should still read June’s review, haha. 

If you’re not familiar with what Mask Maven is, read my Mask Maven introduction post.

Beauteque May Mask Maven Bag
Beauteque May Mask Maven

I decided to take my Mask Maven bag out on a little field trip – to my local park! It was the first weekend where the weather was really sunny and nice in NYC and I felt that my pictures could use a burst of natural light and a fun background for the flat lay! Click to see the full contents. 

Beauteque May Mask MavenThis month’s quote is from Walt Disney, “I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.”

The card does NOT list more information on each mask instead it list the general directions on how to use a sheet mask, a hand mask, a wash-off mask and the Todak Pack. This is one of my gripes. There is no further information listed on what each mask is supposed to do or why Beauteque curated this month’s selection. While some of the masks are reputable, I want to know why they picked some of the other ones that I consider low quality. More on this later.

#1. Leaders StepSolution Pore-Scaling Black Aqua sheet mask.

I’m just going to start with my favorite pick, a Leaders sheet mask. This one is meant for oily skin as the packaging has some English indicating that it’s for people who have excessive sebum (pore gunk), dead skin cells, unclean skin or dark skin. Pore-scaling means that it should “shrink” pores after sucking out all the skin grime. From Beauteque, it is “formulated with extracts like Volcanic Ash, Sugar Maple Extract, Soybean Extract, and more to purify and tighten enlarged pores.” It’s a black mask, non-paraben, non-mineral oil, non-silicon, non-artificial colors and it also advertises anti-wrinkling and whitening on the package as well. I don’t have oily skin but I’ll use this in the summer when my skin feels extra grimey from humid NYC heat. From using previous Leaders masks before, the regular cotton materials still impress me and I like how this offers mutliple benefits besides pore-tightening.

Value: $3.50 on Beauteque

Beauteque May Mask Maven
Leaders StepSolution Pore-Scaling Black Aqua

#2. Nature Republic Shea Butter Hand & Nature Moisture Mask.

Second favorite in the bag. This will go into my winter mask stockpile for my severely dry, cracked hands which makes me realize once again how Mask Maven doesn’t curate masks based on a theme (or to the current season). However I do like this Nature Republic hand mask and can’t wait to use them when the season is right. I used the Nature Republic foot peeling mask before and it worked GREAT. Dead callused skin peeled right off my feet. This is a MOISTURIZING hand mask so don’t confuse the foot peeling one with the hand mask – your skin will NOT peel off your hands haha.

 

Beauteque May Mask Maven
Nature Republic Shea Butter Hand Mask

The “masks” are a pair of plastic gloves that have the shea butter essence inside. You have to break open the seal along the dotted lines and then wear them like gloves for 10-15 minutes and rub the essence it for full absorption. Quickly looking at the ingredients list, the star ingredients are in the middle of the list and not all the way at the bottom (sea water, collagen, shea butter, vanilla fruit extract, honey extract, milk protein extract, olive oil, etc). I have high hopes for this one and I’m probably going to pretend that I’m Michael Jackson wearing his signature white gloves while I wait. Yeow!

Value: $4.00 on Beauteque

#3. Etude House Sunshine Spoon Scrub Massage Yogurt in Sugar Apple.

Oh! A scrub massage pack! Massaging creams are creams that you’re supposed to dedicate a few minutes to actively massage onto your face. There are many ways to give yourself a facial massage (here’s a video example from Shiseido) and the benefits include anti-aging, improved blood circulation (which plumps up your face) and reduces stress! This particular product from Etude House is a scrub + massage pack in one. If you watch the video, you’ll notice that the woman always starts massaging from the bottom and then glides up and outwards. This supposedly helps women achieve that “V-line” look where the chin looks sharp, giving you a youthful appearance. There are many head straps, sheet masks and gimmicky products that promise a V-line look but I really do think that active massaging will help battle gravity and prevent your skin from sagging. If anything, I always feel more relaxed and ready for bed after applying my creams with the added bonus of a facial massage.

Beauteque May Mask Maven
Etude House Sunshine in Spoon Scrub Massage Yogurt in Sugar Apple

The directions say to apply the pack in circular motions for 2-3 minutes with fingertips. I would probably do a mixture of the Shiseido massage movements and the circular movements. This particular “flavor” has sugar apple extract but the ingredients list is in Korean so I can’t see where it’s placed on the list. I’m expecting this to be very moisterizing since it’s in yogurt form. This pack is part of a series of 8 other Scrub Massage types.

Value: $4.50 on Beauteque; $1.00 on Etude House Global

#4. Hanaka Whiteness Botanic Treatment Reviving Mask in Cherry Blossom with Tranexamic Acid.

Ahh another Hanaka mask. I already received a Hanaka mask from the April Mask Maven unboxing and I’ll copy from of what I wrote here: ” ‘Each comforting mask is made out of 100% natural wood-pulp fiber in Japan and completely decomposed after usage. This masks offers a soft design created to closely fit the face’.  This packaging is a cute semi-circle in a semi-gloss finish with 30 ml of essence – which is plenty of essence!”

Beauteque May Mask Maven
Hanaka Whiteness Cherry Blossom Tranexamic Acid Mask

This one focuses on whitening and the star ingredient is niacinamide which is high up there as the fifth ingredient on the list. Niacinamide is good for evening out skin complexion, tone, texture and elasticity. But wait a darn minute – why does the packaging blatantly have “TRANEXAMIC ACID” right under “Cherry Blossom” on the front? Isn’t THAT the star ingredient? Tranexamic Acid is listed as #17 on the ingredients list – in the middle and way after niacinamide. HANAKA, WHY YOU LIE?!

Off to google I go and it turns out that Tranexamic Acid (for skincare, ignore the posts about preventing excessive blood loss) is an ingredient also known for whitening. Shiseido advertised having tranexamic acid in their White Lucent Intensive Spot Targeting Serum and it’s listed as their fifth ingredient as expected since serums are supposed to have higher concentrations of their active ingredients. So in conclusion, pay attention to marketing claims! The tranexamic acid that Hanaka wrote proudly on the packaging is actually not very high in concentration (but niacinamide is). I’m not even going to get into the question if the mask contains cherry blossom either right now.

The mask also contains parabens and as I said before in my last post, some people don’t want parabens in their skincare and others don’t mind it but it’s up to you to look further into your skin’s needs. I personally don’t think using products with (small amounts of) parabens will affect me so negatively but I find my ingredients analysis more unsettling…

Value: $1.80 on Beauteque

#5, #6 and #7. Etude House I Need You sheet mask in Honey, My Beauty Diary sheet mask in Apple Polyphenol (Oil Control and Pore Contringing) and It’s Skin Todak Todak Pack.

I’m grouping these three together because I’ve received the Etude House and My Beauty Diary sheet masks before in the April Mask Maven unboxing and I don’t have anything else to really add except that these two are pretty good, solid choices (with MBD as my pick first then Etude House in terms of quality ingredients). Etude House seems like it has a bit more filler ingredients and honey extract is somewhere on the top/middle.

Value:
Etude House $1.99 on Beauteque; 95 cents on etudehouse.com
My Beauty Diary $1.99 on Beauteque

Etude House I Need You Honey sheet mask, My Beauty Diary Apple Polyphenol Mask and It's Skin Todak Todak Pack in #02 Nutrition wash-off pack
Etude House I Need You Honey sheet mask, My Beauty Diary Apple Polyphenol Mask and It’s Skin Todak Todak Pack in #02 Nutrition wash-off pack

The It’s Skin Todak Todak Pack was confusing to figure out what type/flavor it was since it was in Korean and the “info” card actually had no info on it (can you sense my gripe?). After some googling my yellow label is supposed to be “#02 Nutrition, wash-off pack”. It claims to have manuka honey and coconut to nourish the skin. The little man on the lid is cute but not worth $3.50 for 10 ml in my opinion. You’re crazy Beauteque. It’s Skin has the full size 120 ml tube but it’s harder to find online. I never bought into these “capsule packs” because it’s such a marketing scheme to charge customers more per ounce of product. The extra plastic packaging for one-time use is also wasteful to me. I’ll use this but won’t repurchase.

Value: 10 ml for $3.50 on Beauteque; $1 on RoseRoseShop or $8.71 for a pack of 10.

#8, #9, #10. Daylight Bamboo Essence Mask, Baroness Pomegranate Mask and  Missha Pure Source Mask.

I grouped these three together because I don’t care for them. The End. All three appeared in the March launch of Mask Maven and I was not impressed after my ingredient analysis. They probably do the minimal job of moisturizing but there are also ingredients that can potentially irritate or reverse that effect. Poopie masks to me. I’ll stick these in the fridge when I just want to cool down from a hot day but that’s it.

Value: 3 Poopies ($1.99, $1.80 and $1.99 respectively of course)

Beauteque May Mask Maven
I’m poop.

Conclusion

I’ll say it again, because there’s no seasonal or curated theme, I feel like Beauteque just sticks a bunch of random masks in a pretty bag with a random inspirational quote on the non-informational card. If you don’t already have a mask collection and you’re trying to grow one, this may be the subscription for you but for someone who’s actually a MASK MAVEN (I ate my humble sauce this morning), she may be bored/confused/angry at some of the choices in this bag.

I’ll probably see those poopie masks again to round out my monthly bags. I really rather have 1 quality mask than 2 crappy ones. I like half the bag and the other half is meh/poop. I do appreciate maybe a third of the bag but not enough to continue a subscription for the entire year. I paid ahead for this 6-month subscription at $17.95/month including shipping. Supposedly, the total Beauteque value is $27.06 but I find it really inflated especially the Todak Todak pack and Etude House Scrub Massage. I did mention that the June bag is a little different with improvements that you can read here.

Did you get the Mask Maven bag? What did you think of it? Have you already tried anything from the bag? Please share! Thanks for reading, commenting or sharing!