The 3B Box, $12 per month (US only)
The 3B Box is a monthly beauty box that sends subscribers four to five samples of products from Korea and Japan. 3B, if you're wondering, stands for Beauty Beyond Borders. Korean and Japanese skincare products are known to be innovative and of extremely high quality. The strange ingredients you see in Korean products today will probably start showing up in products in the US in Europe in a few years, so if you want to be on the cutting edge, K-Beauty is the way to go. If you're a regular reader, you know that I also review Beauteque's Mask Maven and BB Bag, which are also Asian beauty subscriptions. While Beauteque's prices are higher ($18.95 for Mask Maven after shipping, $27.95 for BB Bag after shipping, and $12 total for the 3B Box), you also get more items than you do in 3B Box. It's a trade-off. If you know you want to sample Asian beauty products, read my reviews for all three subscriptions to see which one would work best for both your beauty needs and your budget.
My February 3B Box contained the following beauty products:
- Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream (small sample, worth $1.50; full size costs $15)
- Leaders Pore Scaling Black Aqua Mask (one sheet mask, worth $3.50)
- Etude House Look at My Eyes Cafe Eyeshadow in BR401 (full size, worth $4.60)
- Lioele Eyelash Curler (worth $3.50)
The February 3B Box was worth $13.10. That's not a good value at all for a $12 box. I got the 3B Box in December and was on the verge of canceling it, but I loved January's box. This month's box really needed to impress me to keep me as a subscriber.
One thing I want to note is that every time I've gotten 3B in the mail, the box has been falling apart. It's a cheap, flimsy box that isn't taped up all that well, so I'm surprised an item has never fallen out of one of my boxes. My guess is that other subscribers have the same issue and that 3B must get a good number of complaints about missing products. All of my other subscription boxes come in perfect shape, so it's not something I can blame on my mail carrier. Has anyone else who subscribes to 3B had this problem with the packaging? If so, has your box ever been missing items?
I have tried many a snail product, but this in my first time trying bee venom. I've heard great things about bee venom, so I was looking forward to trying this. The venom is supposed to trick your skin into thinking it has gotten a sting and your skin produces collagen and elastin in response. The amount of venom in skincare products is very low, so it won't hurt you, but you should probably avoid products that contain it if you have a severe bee allergy. This cream is supposed to repair damaged skin, and brighten and moisturize your skin. It is a thin cream that has no discernible scent to it. This can be used in place of either your serum or your moisturizer. I felt a slight tingling when I applied this to my face, but it wasn't painful. I would need to use this for a while to see some real effects from it, but that is going to be difficult to do with this teeny sample.
I love sheet masks, so I didn't mind getting the Leaders Pore Scaling Black Aqua sheet mask, but I was a little disappointed because I got another Leaders mask in my Mask Maven this month. Some Mask Maven subscribers got the Pore Scaling mask, so I easily could have ended up with the exact same mask in both subscriptions. That said, this is an amazing mask. It contains volcanic ash and charcoal to deep clean your skin, and chlorella and green tea to hydrate your skin. I loved this mask because it gave me a beautiful glow. While I wouldn't have minded having two of this sheet mask, I've found that the Beauteque subscriptions and 3B subscription have had a lot more overlap than I would have liked.
While I'm all about Korean skincare, I've never been impressed by any of the Korean makeup that I've gotten in my subscriptions. I'm sure Korea has some great makeup, but the products I've been sent have seemed cheap and not in any way unique. There's nothing that sets it apart from makeup I can get here, so I generally don't like getting makeup in my Korean beauty boxes. This was your average golden eyeshadow. It didn't hold up quite as long as I needed it to, even though I used it over my Urban Decay primer. The pigment wasn't too bad; I've swatched it below so you can see what it looks like in use. I would recommend passing on this product.
Finally, there was the Lioele Eyelash Curler. While I don't like getting makeup in Korean subscriptions, I really don't like getting beauty tools in them, especially basic ones that I already have a few of. This is a very cheap eyelash curler that is not of good quality. The hinge on the part that clamps onto the lashes is loose, so it closes too easily and quickly. I prefer a softer close on an eyelash curler so that I am less likely to pinch my eyelid. This is not a product I will use again. Also, the shape of the part that curves didn't fit my eye as well as my other curlers. I couldn't quite pinpoint what was wrong with it, but it just didn't feel as comfortable as my other curlers do. Don't even bother with this eyelash curler.
Although the January 3B Box was great, this month's and December's boxes were just not for me. Two out of three months that I don't like? I decided to cancel. I'm willing to give niche boxes some leeway with values because there is definitely value in curation of difficult to find products. That said, $13 in value for a $12 box is just not good enough, especially when the products aren't wowing me. I liked the sheet mask and I thought the snail and bee venom cream was probably a great product, but it's hard to tell when the sample is minuscule. The other two products were total misses for me. I just don't see the value in this box and would recommend spending the extra money to get one of the Beauteque subscriptions if you can afford it.
What have you thought of 3B? Did you love it or hate it? What did you think of the eyelash curler and the eyeshadow? Did you feel like you got your money's worth? I hope you liked it more than I did. Let me know what you think.