Sunday, April 19, 2015

The 3B Box: Beauty Beyond Borders April 2015 Review and Unboxing

  So I have a little confession to make: I am insanely behind on my blogging duties! Since one of my jobs is working at a grade school, I'll be on April vacation next week so I will have more than enough time to catch up. But there is one particular thing that has been keeping me completely and utterly distracted from life itself: the new EXO Album. Whether you're into kpop or not, you must understand that I am pretty much a casual listener. I have songs that I enjoy and groups that I favor, but only recently have I become terrifyingly, teenage-girl-level obsessed with EXO. If I'm not sleeping, I'm listening to their new album, guys. It's that good. That is, if you like Pop, R&B and Hip Hop, which are the main influences sound-wise. Plus: the amazingly good looking Korean and Chinese guys don't hurt, either.

So much unf.

Although I'm in the middle of an EXO-clouded haze, I've also received a good chunk of my subscriptions boxes. One of them just so happened to be the April 3B Box! 3B has become one of my favorite subscriptions because of it's affordability, brand variety and curation. I'm always interested to see what they're going to include each month!

What is 3B?
3b (stands for Beauty Beyond Borders) is a subscription service that I have coined the KBeauty Birchbox. While you receive mostly Korean products, they have also included Japanese brands in the past as well. Normally the boxes contain deluxe samples, however they have been known to also include full sizes! 

The Cost
Only $12 a month! (that includes shipping!)
(3b currently only ships to the US)

What's In the Box?
Each box contains a collection of  4-5 deluxe samples that are new or popular in Asia but hard to get your hands on. The products will change each month, and you’ll get to try new skincare, haircare, nail care, and cosmetic products. Sample products range from go-to brands such as Lioele, Etude House and Skinfood to high-end premium brands like SK-II, K, and Sulwhasoo.

Where Do I Sign Up?
You can learn more about 3B, and sign up for their monthly subscription HERE. 3B has become quite popular and there is currently a waitlist to subscribe- so if you're interested I would get on that list asap!
While this is called the 3B box, and it does arrive in one, your products are housed each month in a cute organza bag. I really prefer these bags to getting full-on makeup bags (like ipsy for example) because these are easily stored away to be used again, are lighter to ship and take up less space. I can only use so many makeup bags, so I'm never a fan of receiving them each month through various subscriptions.
 The 3b Box.
Here's what everything looks like fresh out of the shipping box. Looking pretty dang good this month, I must say!

Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner
Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel
While I do like Benton products for the most part, I have yet to try anything from their Aloe line. The toner is made for all skin types and treats troubled, acne-prone skin. It helps soothe and moisturize the skin, reduces oil and promotes anti-inflammatory benefits. It also contains snail which has a plethora of skin-loving benefits.  The Propolis Gel contains 80% aloe and propolis which help soothe the skin, fade acne scars and brighten the complexion. It's to be applied after a toner. 
These are two teeny tiny samples, but definitely enough to try and see if you like it before buying a full size. While I do use Benton products (the snail bee essence and steam cream are true addictions for me), I've read that many people have had issues with these products. There have been a lot of contamination issues with Benton products due to them having low/no preservatives in their formulas. While their products work well for me usually, I can't help feeling a bit uneasy whenever I get one of their products. I'm even paranoid about the Snail Bee Essence I use twice a day- I always check it carefully for fear of finding mold or something growing in the container. While I don't think it was a bad idea to include Benton products in this box (Benton is still quite popular) I do think that I would have preferred something from a different brand. I know plenty of people who would love these little samples though, so I'll be passing them along.

Tonymoly: Intense Care Snail Foam Cleanser
 This cleanser is supposed to help brighten your skin with continued use according to the 3B info card, but I won't know whether or not it works because it's pH is a whopping 9.5 according to my testing strips. I've discussed skincare pH before, but in a nutshell for anyone confused: the higher the pH, the more damaging to the skin's moisture barrier. You want your moisture barrier strong and intact to keep out bacteria and other baddies. Trust me, just keeping my cleanser to a low pH (around 5.5) has caused my acne to all but disappear. It's definitely worth looking into more. I would write a post about it, but honestly Skin and Tonics has written everything better than I ever could on the subject!

Innisfree: Bija Sheet Mask
Innisfree is pretty popular right now, and although I'm not a massive fan of everything they have available, I really do love their, "It's a Real Squeeze" sheet masks. They're inexpensive and there is quite a wide variety of types that will tend to any skincare issue. Their ingredients list is pretty standard for sheet masks in this price range, but for some reason, these masks just work really well for me. The Bija mask in particular has been great on my oily skin and has even calmed some breakouts in the past. If I run out of my Benton sheet masks (which I often do) these are second in line to help me combat oily skin and acne. I'm not sure why the work so well, but I'll keep buying them, regardless!

Skinfood: Silicon Cleansing Pad
I love seeing a beauty tool in 3B! This one is a silicon cleansing pad from Skinfood. This sort of reminded me of that old-school L'Oreal cleanser that had the rubber cleansing brush attached:
In fact, I'm almost positive they are the exact same brush style. I remember trying the L'Oreal cleanser many years ago and not enjoying it more-so because of the cleanser iteself, so I have to admit I was almost ready to toss this cleansing pad into my giveaway pile. However I recently ran out of brush heads for my Clarisonic, and my obsession with AHA/BHA products can sometimes get out of control and my normally oily skin tends to dry out and flake up. Since I didn't have my Clarisonic to remove the dead skin, I figured I'd keep this around and see how it worked. 
I was actually pretty impressed! This cleansing pad allowed my normally not-so-foamy cleanser to get super bubbly, and it felt as if it was buffing the dead skin off my face without irritating or being too abrasive. My skin felt super smooth and clean after, so I'm going to continue using this as a gentle exfoliator until I can get my hands on new brush heads for the ol' Clarisonic!
Overall Thoughts
I'm quite happy with the April 3B box, aside from the fact that I only used/plan on using 2 of the 5 items. I'm pleased overall because objectively it's still something I would highly recommend to my friends and readers who are interested in kbeauty. It's a fantastic way to avoid investing a lot of money into hundreds of products, just trying to find ones that work best for you. This way, you spend a small amount of money, and you're able to try out so many different products before committing to the large (sometimes expensive) full sizes. I feel like 3B does a great job with curating boxes, and makes sure to include interesting products from popular brands. I'm excited to open up this subscription each month, always eager to see what they decided to include. I think that's the mark of a good subscription service!

There is currently a wait list to subscribe to 3B, so if you're interested I would sign up as soon as possible. You can get on the wait list here. Right now they're only shipping to the US, but they have been openly asking their customers where we would like them to ship to next. So if you live outside the US, make sure you get in touch with them and tell them you want them to ship to your country!
 If you'd like to learn more about 3B, you can do so HERE.
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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, and goods were purchased by Harlot Beauty for purpose of review. Post does not contain affiliate or referral links.


  1. Get on it, girl! Momma needs her Harlot Beauty fix!!! :)

    1. hahah I'm working on it!! :D I've got a bunch of posts almost ready to go- just have to read them over quick. This month has been so insanely busy I can't believe how fast it went by!

  2. Holy Snails and Starfish! The pH is 9.5 on that cleanser?! I'm going to give or sell that... I've tried the Benton Aloe in sample form--found out I might be allergic to propolis. At least I found out with samples and not a full-size product. The box this month was a bit of a miss for me this month but all sub boxes have their ups and downs I guess.

    1. I know can you believe that?? Unfortunately MANY of the Korean cleansers I've tested have a very high pH. It's been pretty difficult finding one that has a low pH that works for me as well. This one might be good as a brush cleaner so if you're in need of one I'd hold onto this for that purpose, otherwise I would just swap/sell! This wasn't a huge win for me in terms of my personal taste, but as a blogger, I try to review objectively and I think it's still a fantastic value for someone new to kbeauty!