It’s the end of the road with my Beauteque Mask Maven subscription. August is my 6th and last bag as I’ve canceled this service due to lack of interesting masks and well, sheet mask overload in my apartment. This month’s theme is Acne and Pores where the sheet masks and packs were selected around targeting the concerns for troubled and oily skin. Case in point, I don’t have acne-prone skin so subscribing to these services will always have a risk that the products might not fit your needs. These days, I only like a select few items whenever I order a mystery box/package so I did myself a favor and stopped buying anything cold turkey (and you can see my #ShopYourStash or #TeamNoBuy tag on Instagram to see what I’ve been amusing myself with lately).
Since this is my last bag, I got my free $30 gift for being an early subscriber. I signed up in March at the start of the launch and they offered a higher incentive the longer you subscribed (it was a $60 gift set with your 1 year subscription). I also get a free mask for each month and I’ll get into the details later in the post.
If you’re not familiar with what Beauteque’s Mask Maven is, read my Mask Maven introduction post. Click to read the review for August Mask Maven.
If you’re not one for LONG POSTS, use my Table of Contents to navigate:
- August Mask Maven: Acne & Pores Theme
- SNP POP Sebum Control, Pore Tightening Essence Sheet Mask
- My Beauty Diary Citrus Firming Aroma Mask
- Esfolio Volcanic Water Essence Mask Sheet
- Beauty Friends Green Tea and Kiwi Sheet Mask
- Face Q Luffa Oil Control Sheet Mask
- Hanaka Marigold Oil Control Sheet Mask
- Pure Derm Strawberry Yogurt Mask Pack
- Pure Derm Deep Cleansing Peeling Gel
- Free Gift Set with 6-Month Subscription
- Customer Service – Apologizing with Sheet Masks
- Conclusion – Is this Worth My Money?
This month, there were a lot of cards explaining mix-ups and thank-yous. Beauteque had originally wanted to send the SNP Troubled Skin Care Essence Sheet Mask but there was a mix-up and I got the Sebum Control, Pore Tightening Essence Sheet Mask instead. To further apologize, we got two of these instead of one. Both descriptions seem identical to the acne theme so I wasn’t miffed about it. Another little card wanted to thank us for being a loyal customer and for riding the waves of changes as they make the subscription better so they gifted a bonus Cleansing Peeling Gel from PureDerm for free. I wasn’t sure if it’s one bonus packet or both were free but sure, I’d take it because one packet is one-time use anyway. Still wouldn’t have been enough to make me stay a subscriber.
August Mask Maven Theme: Acne & Pores
I have normal to dry skin and my skin concern is hyper pigmentation; I want to fade away my freckles so that they don’t get larger or darker and eventually turn into age spots! I wasn’t too thrilled with this month’s theme as it addresses a skin concern I don’t have which can make my already-dry skin even drier. Acne controlling products will probably include oil banishing ingredients which is something I don’t need since I need my natural oils to keep it moist and balanced. I’ll probably give these to a friend who matches the acne solutions.
Troubled skin including acne and enlarged pores, are problems many people struggle with. There are many different ways to cure them but sheet masks are known to be one of the best. This month’s Mask Maven will focus on properties and ingredients including Green Tea, Luffa and Marigold that will benefit troubled skin.
1. SNP POP Sebum Control, Pore Tightening Essence Sheet Mask (2)
SNP stands for Shining Nature Purity and I’ve seen their other products like the Bird’s Nest hydrogel patches for your undereye area and the sleeping pack as well. This “POP” mask series with comic style graphics didn’t appeal to me packaging wise when I was shopping online months ago but here’s my chance to try it!
They’re paraben-free, mineral oil-free, artificial color-free and synthetic silicone-free! With that, use these masks pretty soon after you get them even though the expiration dates say good until 2017. Without the parabens to preserve the essence from going bad, one beauty forum user’s mask actually molded black spots all over the mask! Her mask was probably left in extreme heat which accelerated the bacteria/mold growth. Ugh, I don’t want that to happen so I’m going both of these quickly.
I don’t have a full list of ingredients in English but the info card (for the Troubled Skin version) says it’s full of herbal extracts that will heal and prevent breakouts. The Sebum one probably has a lot of plant derived extracts as well. 25ml of essence is a decent amount. You can click on the picture to enlarge if you can read Korean.
2. My Beauty Diary Citrus Firming Aroma Mask
I believe EVERY Mask Maven bag has had at least one My Beauty Diary sheet mask and this is no different. I don’t mind this mask as much because it’s from their Aroma series. Some people don’t prefer fragrance in their skincare but I don’t mind and think that scent is part of the relaxing “I do me” nightly routine every night (I love aromatherapy).
This is a Firming and Clarifying (oil control) mask. Always a solid ingredients list, this mask has at the top: aloe leaf extract, rice proteins, hydroxyethyl urea, sodium hyaluronate, sugar maple extract. In the middle of the list it has more botanical extracts as well as grapefruit and licorice root extracts – strong antioxidants and good for anti-inflammation and evening out the complexion. These ingredients are effective even in 1% concentration! Retinol is also on the list but more towards the bottom. Overall a great mask for the budget conscious. The ingredient list has few warnings of irritants or acne-triggers. CosDNA Analysis.
3. Esfolio Volcanic Water Essence Mask Sheet
So happy to see another Esfolio mask in this month’s bag! Esfolio just has cute packaging prints so I hope they also perform! This is also a 4-Free mask but they list it in Korean and I can’t read it! It also touts that it contains 7.5 mg of something, yepp still illiterate in Korean… so I guess I’m done with this review lol.
Volcanic ash is known to draw out toxins and destroy the bacteria that are deep within your pores and responsible for your acne. The description on the back of the mask says:
As a higher concentrated essence-type mask sheet, the mask pack contains Scoria Water whose inorganic substance is effective in removing keratin and skin wastes. Also, vitamins of Chaenomeies Sinensis Fruit Extract and Portulaca Oleracea Extract help to increase skin elasticity and moisturization.
This copy is repeated on the Milk mask as well. Chaenomeles Sinensis is an Asian fruit also known as the Chinese Quince which looks like a papaya. Portulaca Oleracea is a succulent plant. It probably contains 7.5 mg of the Scoria Water which is volcanic water. Without a full ingredient list, I can’t really look into this further. Value: Not listed on Beauteque.
4. & 5. Beauty Friends Green Tea and Kiwi Sheet Masks
I’m not familiar with the Beauty Friends brand at all so I’m cautious if this is going to be one of those poop brands that spits out a basic sheet mask essence with the lowest amount of effective ingredients and calls itself a #1 mask. Green Tea is a great ingredient because of its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and ability to prevent collagen breakdown (source). The ingredient list is also kinda impressive and I hope I’m not saying this too early before testing the mask first BUT Sodium Hyaluronate is 5th on the list and Portulaca Oleracea Extract is 6th (and we know from the Esfolio mask that this is a succulent plant).
There is 12mg of Green Tea (listed as Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract) and our old friend the Grapefruit is next along with Licorice Root Extract, Apricot Fruit Extract, Soybean Seed Extract and Acerola (Cherry) Fruit Extract with pretty minimal fillers (I think)! It’s a nice short list with a majority of the ingredients listed as something I recognize. I don’t know if a “shorter list is always better” but there’s no alcohol, silicones or parabens. I’m almost suspicious that this is too good to be true. This is a 23g mask, a decent amount. CosDNA Analysis.
The second Beauty Friends mask is a Kiwi one and it follows the exact formula as the Green Tea except with 12mg of Kiwi extracts. Kiwi may have even more Vitamin C than oranges and it’s super charged with antioxidants. It also stimulates collagen production and smoothes skin because of Vitamin E. I can’t wait to try these out to see if they’re as great as the ingredient list seems to be. CosDNA Analysis.
6. Face Q Luffa Oil Control Sheet Mask
A Taiwanese mask! I was so overwhelmed in my trip to Taiwan that I didn’t get a chance to look for Face Q masks so I’m glad I’m getting a chance to try this out! Their packaging is also adorable and comes in 23ml of essence. From the info card, the Luffa Extract has active enzymes that will remove dirt and impurities which helps in cell turnover.
Luffa is known as Chinese Okra and it’s grown in Taiwan and China and first used as a moisturizer because it’s packed with Vitamins A and B to add smoothness and clarity. And yes, this is the same luffa we use as the luffa sponge once it’s dried. It has anti-fungal, anti-inflammation and cooling properties that prevent the formation of pimples (source). I never knew Luffa was such a super star at keeping acne at bay! And I count, SEVEN amino acids in the ingredients list! Amino acids are essential in aiding with the renewal in our skin and penetration of skincare products, heart eyes! I want to look at other Face Q masks to see if they also contain amino acids! What a gem! CosDNA Analysis.
7. Hanaka Marigold Oil Control Sheet
Hanaka is also a Taiwanese brand and I’ve gotten a few of these masks already. This mask uses Marigold and Vitamin A to aid in acne healing, oil control and anti-aging. The sheet mask itself is also made out of 100% natural wood-pulp fiber that decomposes after use!
Marigold is also written as Calendula Officinalis Extract and there are claims that it can cure dermatitis because of its full of anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. I’ve certainly seen this ingredient on multiple sheet masks (not as much as my homie Grapefruit) so it must be a star ingredient worth using. There’s also a nice hefty 30ml of essence! CosDNA Analysis.
8. Pure Derm Strawberry Yogurt Mask Pack
I actually have a box of 15 packets of these already and I can already tell you that it will leave your skin feeling soft. It has collagen, vitamin E and strawberry extract to get those baby cheeks and one pack can get you two uses.
However I looked at the ingredients list and it has mineral oil and dimethicone in it! Mineral oil and dimethicone are non-comedogenic, meaning its molecular size won’t fit through our pores and clog it. Instead some people avoid these ingredients because is creates a very thin barrier on your skin to keep moisture from evaporating and by doing that, it can trap existing bacteria in my acne-prone sistas and that’s how breakouts happen. Granted this is a wash-off pack, I’m unsure how much mineral oil and dimethicone actually remains on the skin. If you know your skin doesn’t like these ingredients, best to avoid these or if you still want to risk it, wipe your face over with your favorite toner to remove residue. No wonder the product has a very “slippery” smooth feel like hair conditioner. I won’t mind using these but I wouldn’t repurchase either. CosDNA Analysis.
9. Pure Derm Deep Cleansing Peeling Gel (2)
Peeling gels are fun! If you never tried a peeling gel before, it’s a gel that supposedly removes dead skin cells once your spread it out on your face and you can feel the little bits of gray-looking flakes. There’s a little bit of debate if these peeling gels actually grab onto your dead skin cells like that or if those little bits are actually the product rolling onto itself and only looks like it’s your skin residue.
Either way, my skin does always feel soft after I use a peeling gel! I’m not expecting anything great from Pure Derm as it’s a lower end brand but apple extract is a great anti-oxidant and exfoliator. On the label it also says “Multi Fruit Extract” but the ingredients list doesn’t divulge in what other fruits make up for this “Multi Fruit”… perhaps a Frankenfruit they don’t wish to say. There’s alcohol in here if you’re allergic and Sodium Hyaluronate is my bestie in hydration! It also has one of the 20 most common amino acids, Arginine! The label says it’s good for all skin types and for all four seasons. Seems like a great buy for someone who has a low budget! CosDNA Analysis.
Free Gift Set with 6-Month Subscription
The free gift set was promised to be over $30 in value and I got the Witch’s Pouch Collagen Lip & Eye Makeup Remover (not listed on Beauteque), a 24K Gold Coated Eyelash Curler from The Face Shop ($9), and a mini pore brush from Beauteque ($8.99). All things that I don’t need in my life right now. -_____-
Sorry to say that for me, the mystery gift set was not worth my commitment to 6 months especially when the sub was new and needed a lot of improvement in terms of value, curation and overall thoughtfulness. This would be great for someone who is just starting to sample all things in kbeauty or has room for more makeup and cosmetics in general but I’m storing my beauty items in cardboard boxes at this time because I ran out of room in my cabinet! This would be my third bottle of makeup remover and third eye lash curler. I might use the pore brush with my blackhead oil gels but overall “meh” feeling.
Customer Service – Apologizing with Sheet Masks
I mentioned that Beauteque had forgotten to ship me my free mask of the month for July. I contacted customer service and the rep said that I would get the free mask in my August bag so I waited a whole month for that to come but it came and not only was the free mask from July not there (I wasn’t surprised) but my August free mask also wasn’t there either. Another rep immediately replied and said that they will include my two free masks owed to me and included a third one as an apology for the slip-up. These were mailed shortly and now I have three more Hanaka masks to try for the goof. I’m glad I got these instead of those darn 3W Clinic or cheapo Daylight & Hue masks that I don’t care for (these appeared earlier months Mask Maven).
Conclusion – Is this Worth My Money?
Speaking just for myself, no it’s not worth my money. I’ve hoarded an unbelievable stash that can replace an entire bookshelf with my sheet masks. I’ve admitted that I have a problem and I’m attending weekly meetings on learning how to use your products before buying new shinies into your home (jk). I’ve gotten to the point where I believe no sane company would be able to remain profitable if they were to be tasked with curating a mask collection that I would be happy with every.single.time. (not jk.) I’m always half-happy with these packages so I’ve canceled with no looking back. I want to be in control with what I get in the mail so I’m going to first try everything in my monster stash, then come back with some thirst for new things when this collection is well, no longer a collection.
Usually I would include the value of each mask if you were to buy it from Beauteque individually but most of these masks aren’t even listed since they are probably special ordered for Mask Maven. On average, I’ve calculated a value of about $25 for all my masks and I paid $17.95 ($14 + $3.95 S&H) for the sub. With that, check this list out to see if you think Mask Maven is for you!
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 (AKA an “advanced ABer”)
- 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!