I know I’m late with it. it’s August and I’m unmasking the July bag now but if you’ve read my posts before, they are detailed and take some time to edit photos and write! Please give me a birthday pass and excuse the lateness! If you’ve already seen the spoilers on Instagram then you’ll know that this month’s bag was da bomb dot com!

I wasn’t too impressed with Beauteque’s Mask Maven subscription because as a more advanced ABer (Asian Beauty user) the selection has been ho-hum and it was clear where they cut corners on some selections. The June Unboxing showed some indications that they were listening to customer feedback and made subscription improvements already. This month’s bag was even better (but there was one small snag in my order).

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

Mask Maven July 2015 Cover Unboxing Unmasking

While this month’s mask selection was overall great, they forgot to pack my monthly mask freebie for the 6 month subscription I committed at the start of launch! I contacted customer support and they wrote back that they will include it in my next Mask Maven shipment. Next month will be my last month with Mask Maven and with the promotion, I should also receive a free gift valued at $30! Value-shopper much? Yes, that’s me.

Lately, I’ve been reading how a lot of these AB companies have had miscommunications with their shipping warehouses/facilities so it’s up to the customer (unfortunately) to make sure that everything in your order was actually packed! Memebox had shipped my entire haul from their $5 Sale to the wrong person! Since it was a true clearance sale, they couldn’t reship anything to me but this was a time I actually wanted my products instead of a refund. Anyway, I should be getting a complimentary shipment of similar things I ordered from that $5 Sale. Update on that later. Onto the July Mask Maven!

If you’re not one for LONG POSTS, use my Table of Contents to navigate easier:

July Mask Maven Theme: Asian Culture

This month, they chose an unexpected and interesting theme! Asian Culture! I honestly was expecting something more summery like tropical fruits or an underwater theme. The unique theme made even this oldie ABer smile!

July’s Mask Maven brings you closer to Asian culture. Opera masks are used in Chinese theater to help determine the attributes of the theatrical character. Typically the Opera masks are painted on the actor’s faces and the SNP Beijing Opera Brightening Sheet Mask emulates just that. The main color of this sheet mask is black which indicated that the character is neutral or impartial but has integrity. So slap on the SNP Opera Brightening Sheet Masks, but please don’t be impartial on sheet masks!

Mask_Maven_July(12)
Click to view full size
Mask_Maven_July(13)
Click to view full size

1. & 2. Urban Dollkiss Welcome to Korea Money Masks

Let’s take a look at the most interesting packaging in my opinion! THE MONEY MASKS! Urban Dollkiss is the same company that makes the Baviphat line which has their skincare line in colorful apples (I always thought it was perfume). I’ve never seen these money masks before and they’re making quite an impression with other Mask Maven subscribers! These are “unique to Beauteque”. Each banknote is a different formula for a skincare need.

  • The Chinese RMB is the “Skin-Clean” Mask
  • The Japanese Yen is the “Revital” Mask
I'M SO MONEY. Forizzles.
I’M SO MONEY. Forizzles.
And I only have 1 line of English. But I'm cute and quirky. That makes up for it right?
And I only have 1 line of English. But I’m cute and quirky. That makes up for it right?

I tried searching online for an ingredient list and nothing. Beauteque doesn’t even have it listed on their website for sale. I guess it’s REALLY unique to Mask Maveners? I suppose this line of masks is so new that English translations have not flooded the Internet yet. Sorry, but I can’t gauge how effective these are without a list or a more specific desciption. The only info I can find is the Urban Dollkiss site which is in Korean. They sell these masks in packs of 7 for 7,000 Korean Won (less than $1 USD a piece). Well, YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) so I’ll have to rip into these darling bills and test them on my face!

This is the English translation a la Google for the Chinese RMB mask:

Hanging to dry and crumbly to cultivate various fruit extracts and hyaluronic acid condensation skin brimming with vitality vitamin nutritional ingredients to the skin is clean skin mask pack.

At least I kinda sorta have an idea of what’s in these mysterious money masks? Kinda sorta. Value: Not listed on Beauteque but priced at less than $1 if bought locally, before shipping. 15 g.

3. Esfolio Gold Mask – Elasticity and Nutrition

This mask is exciting because it contains 10 ppm of Colloidal Gold. Firstly, what is Colloidal Gold? And is this real GOLD in a mask essence?! (Squeeeee!) Colloidal from wiki means “microscopically dispersed insoluble particles that are suspended throughout another substance” and Colloidal Gold means “submicrometre-size nanoparticles of gold in a fluid, usually water”. So essentially, yes there are real nonparticles of gold that is being absorbed in your skin! Lovely…?

Bills on my face. Gold on my face. Ballin'
Bills on my face. Gold on my face. Ballin’. This month’s bag should have been named “Rich B!tch”.

The Mask Maven info card does not add any extra information other than what’s already said on the packaging, that it adds back elasticity and nutrition. Thanks, I can read the mask package.

From research on my own (and by that, citing this journalistic piece by Harpar’s Bazaar), nanotechnology has made it possible to transfer gold’s light reflective properties onto your skin, giving it brightening and illuminating effects. Colloidal gold also has medicinal uses because it has anti-inflammatory properties and is being used to treat patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Now aestheticians believe that the same properties can “prevent the breakdown of collagen and elastin, which causes wrinkles and loss of firmness”.

Results are not proven that colloidal gold can actually achieve these claims as there are other ingredients mixed into the mask essence that help with skin firmness and elasticity. I inputted the ingredients in CosDNA and denatured alcohol is a 5 as an irritant. Hyaluronic Acid is listed second after gold and there is camellia, cucumber and witch hazel extracts, and Allantoin that would aid in skin conditioning and reduce inflammation as well.

But NEVERMIND about these claims. Let’s look at the actual PERCENTAGE of Colloidal Gold in the essence – how much is 10ppm anyway? Ok Science, I conquered you in high school, let’s do this!

“ppm” is a measurement of chemical concentration and stands for “parts per million”. Yea, MILLIONS. To convert ppm into a percentage, you simply multiply the ppm amount by 10,000.

Formula: P(ppm) = P(%) × 10000

So 10ppm x 10000 = .0001% of Colloidal Gold

I doubt that this amount of gold can really illuminate my face like the Oscar’s award but it’s so minuscule that it seems like good ole Hyaluronic Acid will be the real reason in putting the glow in my face because of it’s skin-plumping properties by its ability to retain 1,000 times its weight in water. This seems like another case where a company will market a mask with a more alluring ingredient (in this case, GOLD) but it really contains other star ingredients that will give you the claimed effects. BUSTED.

To note, for arthritis treatment, doctors will use a much higher injection of gold. Gold isn’t proven to do wonders on your skin, especially not in concentrations this low but find what works for you as YMMV. Value: Not listed on Beauteque, 25ml

4. SNP Beijing Opera Brightening Mask

I’ve been avoiding these animal/masquerade masks that have exploded on Instagram because they seem gimmicky and noneffective to me at first glance but biases aside, I now have an Opera mask to try and I do hope that it’s effective as it is fun to wear. My boyfriend will enjoy this a lot since he sees me mask about 4 days out of the week.

Ingredients are listed on CosDNA by yours truly and Beauteque highlights that their “coconut water will replenish moisture to dry skin and improve it’s defense function”. In addition to that, the mask has Niacinamide, Betaine, Broussonetia Kazinoki Root Extract, Morus Alba Fruit (white mulberry) Extract, Punica Granatum Bark/fruit (pomegranate) Extract and Cranberry Extract. These all contribute to the brightening effect to help decrease the look of sun/age spots.

Cuz I'm fancy. Opera style.
Cuz I’m fancy. Opera style.

The ingredient list looks pretty solid to me but for those who are allergic to alcohol, avoid this one. I think I’ll like this one a lot because of the Niacinamide and cocktail of botanical and fruit extracts (plus entertaining my boyfriend while I mask). Value: $3.25, 25ml on Beauteque

5. Esfolio Milk Essence Mask Sheet

I’m a sucker for cute packaging and when a company does a “Milk” theme, I’m rolling over and showing my belly. The milk proteins in this mask is supposed to “keep skin clean and help to increase skin elasticity and moisture”. I think by “keeping skin clean” it means that it will help unclog pores? Don’t really know what you mean by that.

Having a cow over this packaging (◕‿◕✿)
Having a cow over this packaging (◕‿◕✿)

The English on the back kinda sorta helps describe what other ingredients are in the essence, “vitamins of Chaenomeles Sinensis fruit extract and Portulaca Oleracea extract help to increase skin elasticity and moisturization”. I see “7.5mg” of something on the back – that must be the amount of milk protein extract in the essence.

Chaenomeles Sinensis is an Asian fruit also known as the Chinese Quince which looks like a papaya. Portulaca Oleracea is a succulent plant. Without a full ingredient list, I can’t really look into this further but the ingredients seem interesting. Value: Not listed on Beauteque,

6. AngelLooka Ultra Moisturizing Foot Mask Pack

This is NOT a peeling foot one but a mask that provides tons of nourishment to your dry, cardboard, troll feet. Oh, and it HEATS UP once you open it for use! This makes sense as heat opens up pores and allows deeper penetration of products. The description on the Beauteque info card says it removes dead skin but like I said, this doesn’t seem like a peeling foot mask so I think that’s written incorrectly.

"Hold my soft feet," said the troll. "It's okay, I used a foot mask". >.< LOL
“Hold my soft feet,” said the troll. “It’s okay, I used a foot mask”.

Ingredients are in CosDNA and it lists a ton of botanical extracts which would probably helped with my cracked heels situation. Although the package touts that it’s “5 Free of Parabens, Artificial Pigments, Benzophenone, Triethanolamine, or BHT” it DOES have alcohol, dimethicone, mineral oil and hydrogenated vegetable oil.

I’m not sensitive to any of these “warning” ingredients so I’ll continue on my first impression as if it doesn’t have any negative effects on my skin. Shea Butter and Jojoba Seed Oil were obvious answers to dry, cracked troll feet but Urea was an interesting star ingredient. Turns out that Urea is one of the three natural moisturizing factors in the outer layer of skin, the other two being lactic acid and amino acids. Urea is a humectant and humectants are important components of skin moisturization as Urea is found naturally in our skin, making up 7% of it’s chemistry. You can read more about Urea here. Sold. Value: $4.50, 18 ml.

7. Mediheal Black Eye Anti-wrinkle Mask

This is a spot treatment mask specifically made to target the wrinkling around your eyes. The info card says that it will revitalize the elasticity under your eyes with effective components such as phyto black complex, marine collagen and silk peptide.

Meowww.
I guess only this area around my eyes will be wrinkle-free. Everything else can sag with time.

CosDNA analysis is here and it has dimethicone, a few parabens, but no alcohol. As I expected from Mediheal, the ingredient list looks pretty up there with natural fruit and botanical extracts like blackberry, blueberry, rose, soy bean, and even garlic bulb extracts.

The package touts that it has 600mg of Hydrolyzed Collagen. Naturally I looked this up to see if this was anything to swoon over. Well if you’re an animal lover, this may be be gross for you…but collagen in general is made from animal byproducts. Collagen is found in the bones, skin and connective tissue in animals like cattle, pigs, horses, etc. The hides from these animals are then put in a lime slurry to loosen up the collagen molecules and then goes through hydrolysis which heats up the large collagen molecule to Hydrolyzed Collagen. Hydrolyzed Collagen is a smaller peptide yet has a larger concentration of 20 amino acids and contains 8 out of the 9 essential amino acids (source.)

Normal collagen molecules are actually too big to penetrate through the skin cell layer and it sits on top of your skin but this new form of Hydrolyzed Collagen is a bit closer to the ultimate goal. Most articles I’ve found still says that it acts as a good moisturizer but there’s still no hard proof in deep, skin-changing penetration.

Adenosine seems to be the star ingredient as it’s high on the list and penetrates deeply into the skin to help prevent wrinkles, reduce UV B sun damage. It is particularly effective for crow’s feet and forehead frown lines. It has been shown to enhance the effects of botox in facial wrinkle reduction” (source). This is exactly what this mask claims to do.

Betaine is also high on the ingredient list. Betaine is an anti-oxidant and a known humectant. Their molecules are small which is easy for skin to absorb and it retains water very well, just like Hyaluronic Acid’s little sister. This ingredient should add back the plumpness in between your fine lines, making you look youthful around the eyes again. But only around the eyes. Because this mask is only for the eyes, not for anything else.  -__-

Value: Not listed on Beauteque, 10ml.

8. TonyMoly I’m Real Tomato Mask Sheet, Radiance

Hello familiar sheet mask. I have a ton of these in my box but I won’t turn this one away. The I’m Real series is a 3 layer cotton material mask which advertises that it holds the essence “pulp” in between the layers. It’s 5 Free of  talc, benzophenone, triethanolamin, and color additives (I know that’s 4 but I can’t find the 5th baddie ingredient it’s free from).

Tomatoes work really well with any skin type and it’s full of antioxidants that will fight free radicals. It also has a heapful of vitamins C, E, B6, B1, B3 and B2, iron and potassium. The juices works well as a moisturizer. I remember when my mom had lazered off some sun spots from her facial spa, they gave her this pinkish cream that had tomato extracts in it to heal the scabbing and tender spots after the treatment.

Tomato and Peach butts up in this thang.
Tomato and Peach butts up in this thang.

I already tried this mask before from my stash and while the packaging is cute, it’s not wide enough to stick your hand in there to scoop out the extra essence after you’re done. There is only 21ml of essence and that’s on the skimpier side although it was very wet upon opening. I can’t remember the fit of the mask.

The CosDNA analysis comes out pretty clean with minor 1 ratings and there isn’t any alcohol. There are other fruit extracts like Peach to help with hydration and brightening and Allantoin to help with inflammation. From the back picture, it looks like it’s trying to tout 1,000 ppm of tomato extracts but from our Science Lesson from the Esfolio Gold mask, that’s really not a lot of concentration. Like I’ve said before in another Mask Maven unmasking, it’s probably much better to just use a REAL tomato and mash the juice in with avocado for a FRESH facial mask (no, really I found it here with my tomato facts).

9. Holika Holika Found in Nature Collagen + Pomegranate Sheet Mask – Intensive Firming and Lifting Treatment

As I JUST wrote about how collagen is too large of a molecule to penetrate the skin, this sheet mask has Hydrolyzed Collagen in it too. HA! So I’m not going into that rabbit hole again. This mask also has Pomegranate, Grapefruit, Rosemary and Olive Leaf extracts. These are great antioxidants for your skin’s glow and the rest of the ingredient will contribute to general moisturization and smoothness.

If you’ve been reading my posts, I notice that a lot of sheet mask essences will have grapefruit, pomegranate and other citrus extracts but market the mask as a whole other “type” (e.g. Aloe, Milk, Dragon’s Blood, Unicorn Tears). They do this because consumers want variety and they want new innovative formulas so the labs have to think of reusing these staples in essence recipes for glowing, radiant skin while adding in that new “star” ingredient in miniscule amounts for marketability. A good example of this was the Esfolio Gold Mask from above where Colloidal Gold is not proven to provide radiance, but Hyaluronic Acid IS.

At least this mask isn’t lying to me. The star ingredients really are (Hydrolyzed) Collagen and Pomegranate.

CosDNA list is posted and nothing too alarming except for possible minor acne triggers. There IS alcohol however and 18ml of essence is on the smaller side so don’t expect much “extra” essence left to slather on after masking. This mask was repeated from last month’s bag but in a different type. Don’t mind having this but I’m not expecting anything mind-blowing. It’s yer average Jane type of mask.

I’ll paste copy from my June Mask Maven that gave a first impression on this mask. I looked up an old press release and found that these “sheets have porous air balls made of natural pulp that stick to the skin, allowing the skin to absorb all the nutrients and moisture in the mask”. Value: Not currently on the Beauteque website but I’ll estimate $1.99, 18ml.

Conclusion – Is This Worth My Money?

This bag was SO MUCH BETTER than when they launched. As I said in the June unmasking/unboxing, the overall subscription is better with their improved info card, mask selection and having a theme. The selection this time around is awesome and exciting for the old and the new ABer. Although I analyze the ingredient list and marketing that goes into each mask, I’m still excited to TRY these and see if the overall formula works with my normal to dry, freckled skin. Esfolio is a hard to find brand, the Urban Dollkiss money masks are not found locally and I’ve never heard of AngelLooka before. So yes, this month’s bag was totally worth it.

Other notes, Beauteque had their own “unmasking Mask Maven” posts on their own blog last month, but didn’t do one this time for July. Although I found that post pretty useless anyway because it just repeated a lot of the vague copy from the info card. I guess that’s useful for peeps who aren’t MM subscribers but not more useful if you want to find more info (which is why you should come here and have your dreams destroyed by my harsh reviews)! Well, I’m just trying to be as factual as I can and speaking the marketing truth as I am a Marketer by trade (who needs a job). No, really. I’m available for full hire (slips in my business card).

I usually end these posts with a value comparison but this time it was harder to add up prices because most of these masks aren’t listed on Beauteque’s website. I just used an estimate of what I think Beauteque would price these at with American retail markup.

Total Beauteque Value: $24.25
Total Actually Paid: $14 subscription + $3.95 shipping = $17.95

I’ll also add a check list to see if you should (or should not) subscribe to Mask Maven (similar to my 3b (Beauty Beyond Borders) sub.

I think subscribing to Mask Maven is great for someone who:

  • Wants to start sampling sheet masks or other types of masks in Asian Beauty (Korean, Taiwanese and Japanese beauty) in an affordable way
  • Wants to slowly build up a masking routine that will work for them (while also discovering what DOESN’T work for you)
  • Wants to try out new masks from big brands like TonyMoly, Etude House, Holika Holika, Leaders Insolution, or Tosowoong.
  • Wants a themed bag delivered to your door with info cards and a wide selection
  • Doesn’t have time to sift through tons of online reviews and feels overwhelmed with too many options.

I DON’T think this is good for someone who:

  • Wants to try masks from “other” brands that are harder to find in your home country
  • Has specific needs to address that a rando bag of masks wouldn’t be able to help with
  • Already has a buttload of Korean Beauty masks
  • Doesn’t like surprises
  • Doesn’t want to try anything new or too picky with products
  • Is NOT a beginner in the Asian Beauty world
  • Has ultra sensitive skin (too much risk in getting a lot of products that will flair up a reaction)

Leave Me a Comment!

  • What did you think of this month’s bag?
  • Have you tried any masks yet and what was your take on it?
  • Did you learn anything new from my posts?
  • I’m trying to see if my posts are too long and detailed. Feedback, positive or constructive criticism is appreciated!
  • This is the translation I got when I scanned the ingredients list for the Urban Dollkiss Skin Clean mask:

    [Ingredients] purified glycerin, dipropylene Glaciers ahkol, butylene glycol, grapes Sodium carbonate hyaluronidase, lemon bast shoe beta page – ol draw jeneyi suited castor oil, caprylic rilgeul glycol carbomer, triethanolamine Ah private rust when ethane pomegranate extract, allantoin, xanthan gum, CAP Lal hydroxyl samik Acid disodium 01 dt eyiohyi extract, apple extract, pumpkin extract, Christian extracts, spices

    • And for the Revital mask:

      [Ingredients] section dipropylene Glaciers o ethylene glycol, purified water, glycerin, sodium carbonate beta hyaluronidase bast -60 o Hydro jeneyi not suited for castor oil caprylyl Glaciers ahgol, Carbomer Triethanolamine paenok when ethane President and penta-peptide palmitoyl xanthan allantoin -4 hollyhock root extract, aloe vera leaf extract, CAP Lal samik hydroxyl acid, disodium 01 Spices dt, Butylene Cola vendors Chu Lai jummul bergamot mint leaf extract, leaf extract r Pepe, Freesia Chamomile extract, flower extract, as Marie’s leaf extract

      • THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!!!!! I had copied and pasted the hangul but the English section REPEATED the hangul characters… umm.. what was I doing wrong? Anyway! THANKS!!!

      • I’m skimming over the list now, LOL it’s of course half gibberish. “Oh, there’s essence of the President in here”!

        • Yeah, there’s definitely errors, but I recognized some ingredients, so I wasn’t sure if any of it would be helpful or not. I actually used the Google Translate app on my phone to scan the ingredients list from my computer lol.