Not that long ago, there were no Korean Beauty Subscription boxes available. The Kbeauty world was pretty unknown to most Western customers, aside from those who had already stumbled upon it accidentally. While I had purchased a few Korean beauty products and had some staples already in my routine, I didn't truly become passionate about them until I received my very first Memebox. It seems that many beauty subscription lovers were turned on to the wonderful and expansive world of Kbeauty through Memebox- and when they were good, they were good. What made them so different was that they were the first kbeauty "box" (while not a subscription) that shipped to the US, but they also included many smaller and lesser-known brands that weren't always readily available to those of us outside of Korea.
Since then, Memebox has become completely US-based, making their boxes more expensive and admittedly, a little more generic. So what's a subscription box/kbeauty addict to do? Well- there's Beauteque and 3b Box, which both offer some great kbeauty boxes, but they both lack things in their own way which leaves an open space in the kbeauty subscription world.
Enter Mishibox! I had heard about them through some fellow beauty bloggers a couple of months ago before they officially launched. I wasn't sure what to expect from them at the time, however I decided to go ahead and subscribe to their first box so I could let you guys know what it was all about. I do want to disclose that Mishibox refunded the price of this box to me for review purposes, however I have since paid for a subscription- so that's a little hint as to how I felt about this first box!
Mishibox is a beauty Korean Beauty Subscription service that sends subscribers 4-6 items each month- which can be a mixture of deluxe samples and full size products.
While the box normally costs $19.95 per month (including shipping), you can sign up before the July Box cutoff and only be charged at the rate of $18.95. Mishibox currently only ships to the United States, but if you're an international customer and want in on the fun, you can join their International Waitlist.
I know packaging is just packaging, but I really love when I see thought and effort put into it. Not only does Mishibox have a branded box, but inside was packaged so nicely with a cute little sticker with their bunny logo. I appreciate when a subscription clearly has thought these things out prior to launching!
Mishibox immediately impressed me with their info card before I even saw what was inside the box. On the front side, Mishibox suggests that you patch test products in case of allergies. But here's where they really won me over: each month, Mishibox will have the ingredients for every product they included translated on their website! You can see the ingredients for the June/Launch box on their blog HERE. Since English translations for Korean ingredient lists are not always readily available, I think this is already a step above and beyond on their part.
Mishibox is also planning on sending out survey's each month so you can give your opinions on each product included. I received my survey today and it's set up similarly to a Birchbox review survey. I love this because you're able to give the company feedback on each individual product.
My love for this info-card doesn't end there: Look at how nice-looking it is!! Not only is there a small color photo of each item, it clearly states which products are full size, what they are, how to use them as well as the retail price. Doing it right, Mishibox.
So let's dig into the very first Mishibox!
Benton: Snail Bee High Content Mask Pack
So anyone who is deep into their kbeauty obsession knows the drama surrounding Benton. While at one point their products were raved about by almost everyone across the board, there were many people who were affected by contaminated batches of products. Having said that, I will openly admit that I have continued to use certain Benton products because I've yet to find things I like more. This sheet mask happens to be one of those products. It contains snail secretion filtrate, EGF, and bee venom which help with anti-aging, whitening and skin-soothing. I rarely find sheet masks that help with my acne almost immediately after using them. The Innisfree Bija mask is one, and this one is the other. The moment I take this sheet mask off I see any breakouts I have are calmed, less swollen and red. Since I use sheet masks at night, if I use this particular mask I almost always wake up with significantly diminished breakouts. Happy to have another one on hand!
Benton: Honest Cleansing Foam
While I'm not totally against Benton, I am totally against cleansers that have a pH higher than 6. I'm pretty sure I read this one clocks in at 9.5, which makes this cleanser a hard pass. Ever since I switched to low pH cleansers, by acne has been minimal to almost non-existent, so I'm not about to mess with success. This will go in the giveaway bin as I know plenty of people that don't have a pH preference when it comes to cleansers.
Holika Holika: Aloe 99% Soothing Gel
The Holika Holika Aloe body wash is one of my all-time favorites. Since it comes in the same packaging, I got excited and then a little let down when I noticed it was the soothing gel and not the wash. Even so, how cute is this packaging? I don't use aloe gel insanely often, however it's one of the most perfect products to have on hand during the Summer. This gel contains over 99% fermented aloe vera leaf juice, and can be used on the hair, face or body to moisturize, soothe, cool and rejuvenate. One of my favorite ways to use aloe gel is on my legs right after shaving. It not only moisturizes, but it soothes any nicks or cuts as well as keeps razor burn at bay.
Banila Co: Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm
This particular product has been the buzz of the kbeauty world since it came out, and for good reason! If you've been avoiding oil cleansers and balm cleansers, you really have to throw your fears aside and get in on this trend! It doesn't matter what your skin type is, you really can benefit from these products! Clean It Zero is an award winning and best selling cleansing oil balm that removes makeup and impurities without stripping the skin of beneficial oils. This cleansing balm has a sort of sherbet-like consistency. I use this by rubbing a small amount between my hands and then massaging onto my face to remove my makeup. You can wipe this off with a tissue or rinse with warm water, the latter being my preferred method. You don't want to use an oil/balm cleanser as your only cleanser, though. These are more or less used to remove makeup and oil from the skin. It's necessary to follow up with a regular cleanser.
Holika Holika: Jewel Light Waterproof Eyeliner
It seems like there were a variety of shades sent out of this eyeliner, however I'm incredibly happy that I received brown. Interestingly enough, I rarely ever strayed from my black liner my entire life- now suddenly I've been finding myself using brown liners almost exclusively. I find that it gives the same look, only softer, which is what I've been into lately! These Jewel Light liners from Holika Holika are pretty nice. I find them to be creamy and smooth when applying, and they do last a decent length of time, although its no mach for my oil slick lids. This does eventually wear off on me, but it lasts much longer than most liners I have. Seeing has how it's an inexpensive liner (around $8) it performs on par with some of the higher end western brands I have.
Skylake: Oriental Herb Shampoo
The lovely Tracy over at Fanserviced-b had sent me a Skylake sheet mask months back, and wow was it love at first sight! Not only did it have such a unique herbal/smokey scent, but it works wonders on my skin! I've been meaning to try out more from the brand, so I was excited to see this shampoo included here! This shampoo looks like there are some kind of weird mushrooms growing in it, but they're actually pieces of wilfordii root, which apparently is good for avoiding hair loss. Since I have thin hair that falls out easily, this seems right up my alley! This shampoo also claims to help prevent dandruff and itching as well, which makes sense since it has such a cool, minty scent to it. I haven't tried this one out yet, although I'm really looking forward to it! It does seem like it's a bit on the expensive side ($36 for 500ml) so I hope I don't love it too much!
This box cost $18.95 (will be $19.95 after July) and has a value of about $30.
While I love a high value box at a low price, I still think Mishibox is a great deal. I think they've provided subscribers with a thoughtfully curated box with a variety of brands represented. While not everyone is going to be happy with the Benton products, I know there are still plenty of people who swear by them. I like that there's skincare, body, haircare and makeup all represented here as well. The only thing I'm mildly concerned about is overall value. Since I subscribe to 3B box as well, I can't help but compare to them. 3B is $12 a month, and if I removed the Aloe Gel from this picture, what's left would look a lot like a typical 3B, which is $8 cheaper than Mishibox. Granted the Aloe gel "retails" at $12, however I've seen it half that price.
Here's the facts though: So far, Mishibox has gone above in beyond as far as subscription boxes go. Value is only so important. If the curation is bad, or the products are just not useful, then what's the point of a high value? This is only the first box, and not only has Mishibox impressed me with their curation and brand selection, but the info card is complete and detailed without being overly-so. They've provided english translations for all the ingredients. And just when I thought I couldn't love them anymore, I recently got an e-mail from them regarding the pH of cleansers. Apparently I'm not the only one that prefers low pH cleansers. Mishibox went above and beyond and sent a quick survey to subscribers asking for their preference (if any) regarding pH level in cleansers. It seems they'll be making a strong effort to not send high pH cleansers to those who don't want them. If that's not good customer service, then I don't know what is!
Overall, I think Mishibox is really doing it right. They seem like they took a lot of time to plan this service, from the packaging to the info card to the curation, everything is excellent. Their customer service already seems above and beyond their competition by far. I'm excited to see how this subscription continues to grow!
If you're interested in signing up for Mishibox, you can do so HERE.
All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.