Friday, March 18, 2016

Mask Maven February 2016 Review

Here's my fave sub right now:  Beauteque Mask Maven.  I love sheet masks and getting a variety pack delivered to my door once a month always puts a smile on my face.  Beauteque is an American beauty shop specializing in Asian beauty and skincare products and they offer two monthly subs:  a BB Bag which includes 6-8 full-sized products in a cosmetics bag, and Mask Maven which is a variety pack of 9-11 masks.  While the BB Bag also sounds awesome, I know I'll get the most out of Mask Maven.  It costs $15 per month plus $6.95 shipping, in US funds, but you can get it for less if you purchase longer subscriptions.  I picked up a full year of this subscription when they were having a 30% off sale for a total of $264.06 Canadian, including shipping - that's about $22 Canadian per month.  If you would like to check out either of these subs, you can do that right here :)

As you can see above, this month's theme was "Fabulous February" which is vague enough, I suppose.  The description sounds like they're going for ingredients that are also edible, I think (although the masks are not, obviously).  Here's the info sheet that comes with the masks, outlining what we received, what each mask is supposed to do for your skin, and how to use each mask.

As usual, I'll include the "value" of each mask from Beauteque (when available), without shipping or exchange.  Many can be purchased cheaper elsewhere though so this is really just a ballpark of value.

Dewytree Honey Moist Black Mask ($2.25 value)

Honey offers natural anti-microbial and soothing properties which makes it a great choice for "problem" skin.  This mask had a great fit for my face and was pleasant to use.  I don't think it really smelled like honey, but it did smell nice.  Not my favourite but not a terrible mask.

Leaders Aquaringer Mask ($3.50 value)

Leaders is well-respected for their masks.  The packaging makes them look medical or science-y, doesn't it? Subscribers received one of:  AC Dressing Mask (for acne control), Pore Scaling Black Aqua Mask (for oil control and brightening) or this one, the Aquaringer Mask.  Personally, I would have been happier with either of the other options since I could always use a good AC / oil control mask.  This one is a moisture bomb but I actually liked it - great fit, nice texture, lots of essence. . . and lots of moisture without overwhelming my skin.  I would love to try more Leaders masks!

Mizon Enjoy Vital-Up Time Calming Mask ($2.25 value)

I have tried Mizon products before and enjoyed them but I wasn't crazy about this mask.  It contains propolis which is a thick gel sometimes called "bee glue".  In skincare, it is a calming and soothing agent.  This mask also contains trehalose and hyaluronic acid for moisture.  All of which I like.  Unfortunately, it's made with added fragrance. . . lots of it.  Don't get me wrong - I love a mask with a pleasant scent.  This smelled sweet and almost fruity - it was familiar but I can't quite put my finger on what the scent was.  But it was just too much.  Despite a healthy amount of essence and a good fit, I just couldn't wear this one as long as I would have liked.

Hanaka Snail & Black Pearl and Cactus Hyaluronic Acid Masks ($1.90 each)

Last month was my first time trying Hanaka masks and I quite liked them.  Still do.  And they're a decent price as well.  That said, we received two Hanaka masks last month and two Hanaka masks this month.  I'd like to see a little more variety! The Snail & Black Pearl version includes snail mucin (slime) which is a miracle worker for my skin - it's a healing agent.  This mask was awesome! I would purchase it for sure.  The fit is great, I like the smaller packaging, and I love that the mask is decomposable after use as well.  I haven't tried the Cactus HA version yet but I'm sure I will enjoy it as well - I just need to wait for a moment when my skin needs a moisture bomb.

Esfolio Honey Mask ($1.90 value)

This was another item with variety.  Some subscribers received this mask while others received a Nature Republic Royal Jelly Mask.  Again, I would have preferred that one as I also received another honey mask (see above) and another Esfolio mask (see below).  That said, the fit of this was nice, there was a decent amount of essence and it smelled pleasantly like honey.  While I originally found this mask pleasantly moisturizing, my skin ended up pretty greasy the following day - it could be the change in weather, or it could be this mask.  I'm not sure but I don't know that I would pick this up again.

Esfolio Green Tea Mask ($1.90 value)

Green tea is another ingredient I love to see in my skin care as it is excellent at removing toxins from skin and waking up tired-looking skin.  It works well with my skin and is usually a soothing scent.  That said, I haven't tried this one yet but I was happy to receive this one instead of the other option (3W Green Tea Mask) as I have purchased and used many of those ones.  I like the 3W mask a lot. . . but I picked up this sub to try new things :)

Somoon Ampoule Juice Animal Mask - Bear ($3.25 value)

And a patterned mask! This seems to be something Mask Maven sends each month. . . and they're usually more gimmicky than great in the mask department so I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this mask! The fit was much better for my face than the SNP ones and I found the amount of essence and quality of the mask to be better as well.  I'm not sure how much this firmed my skin (the bear variety is for firming) but then again, I don't think I need much firming yet.  I likely wouldn't buy this again but I did enjoy it more than I expected to. . . and my son loves the animal masks best.

Ladykin Blueberry Wash Off Mask ($3.00 value)

Each month Mask Maven sends one mask that isn't a sheet mask (I'd love to see a few more once in a while to be honest) and this month it's a wash off mask.  I love to use these types of masks in the tub as it makes clean up much easier! Again, there were a lot of options for this item:  The Yeon Jeju Hallabong Energy Peeling or Pack (either the Live Pack, Peeling Gel or Pore Ghassoul Pack) or this item, the Ladykin Blueberry Wash Off Mask.  I am happy with this option! I actually would have been happy with anything but the peeling gel to be honest.  Blueberry is not something I love to eat. . . but it is something I'll gladly smear all over my face as it's great for fighting acne and aging! Both of my skin concerns! These little packages are usually good for 2-3 uses although they are not resealable.  Thankfully I have a cover for packages this size and shape from my Memebox days so I can seal them up as needed (you could also use plastic wrap or foil. . . or just use them up quickly).  While this didn't smell strongly of blueberry (thankfully), it did smell pleasant and had a texture a bit like yogurt.  I found my skin was softer and smoother after use so I would consider purchasing this again - especially because the multiple uses I can get out of one package helps justify the price!

Overall Verdict:

This month comes in a little lower in value:  about $21 US.  That's a little less than I paid for it although I do find there is added value in terms of convenience and curation.  It would potentially cost me more to have some of these masks shipped to me and, most importantly, I would likely not have tried all of them if I hadn't been sent them as part of this sub.  I found the variety in terms of mask type this month to be better than last month - some moisturizing, some anti-aging and some acne / oil -fighting varieties.  But I still find the variety of brands a little lacking at times - I received two Hanaka masks for the second month in a row (thankfully I like them!) and two Esfolio masks as well.  I did get to try a few brands I had not previously tried as well (Leaders and Ladykin are new favourites).  Regardless, I will gladly use any and all sheet masks that make their way to my door and am excited to see what arrives next!

Interested in checking out Mask Maven, the BB Bag or Beauteque's online shop (where you can purchase every mask in this review)? Here's the link.  Enjoy!

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