Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The 3b Box: Beauty Beyond Borders November 2015 Review and Unboxing

Ever since I decided to cut back on my subscription boxes, I'm amazed at how much stuff I actually have in my stash. I always give stuff away to my friends and family that I know I won't use, but the stuff I end up keeping is still way more than I could ever use. Since I don't have piles and piles of stuff coming in every month, I am really able to take a look at what I have and start using some of it! Crazy, right? I know any of you who are addicted to subscriptions know what I'm talking about! 
3B was one of the subscriptions I decided to continue receiving, and I admit that part of that was because of the low price tag- only $12 a month. I primarily use Korean skincare, so it's nice to get an affordable Asian beauty subscription every month that keeps the products coming in without burying me. This month was especially awesome as it included things that I have never tried before as well as some personal favorites!

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 is quite popular so there is occasionally a waitlist to subscribe, so if you're interested- the sooner you sign up the better!
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.

Secret Key: Starting Treatment Essence
This starting essence has over 90% fermented yeast extract which is used to help calm troubled skin and restore natural elasticity and hydration. While this is called an "essence" it's not actually used at the same time as a regular essence. Since it's "starting essence" it's actually used immediately after cleansing. Starting essences are usually applied to help restore lost moisture and nutrients that were stripped away after cleansing. I have used quite a few starting essences including quite expensive ones, and this is the one I am currently using and have repurchased multiple times. I find that I need only a few drops into my hand to cover my entire face, it's insanely affordable, and truly works better than every other starting essence I've tried. This is a highly recommended product from me, personally. I've yet to find a starter that I like more!

Etude House: Real Art Cleansing Oil
I feel like by now, most people have gotten over their fear of oil cleansers. I know in the past I've spoken to a lot of oily skinned ladies who say things like, "oh I don't use oil cleansers because I don't want to make my skin even MORE oily!" Most people know nowadays that oil cleansers do not make your skin oilier, and oily-skinned ladies actually benefit from using them as they help balance moisture levels on your skin rather than stripping the oil away and fooling your skin into thinking it needs to produce more. Oil cleansers are excellent for removing makeup quickly and easily! This one is made with coconut and argan oil (so use with caution if you're acne-prone!) and it helps remove tough waterproof makeup and foundation while moisturizing and protecting the skin. Keep in mind that after you use an oil cleanser, you should follow up with a regular cleanser!
This particular one I haven't tried before, so I'm excited to see how well it works in comparison to my favorites.

A'Pieu: NonCo Tea Tree Spot Patches
I'm kind of obsessed with spot patches lately. Whenever I break out nowadays, I stick a spot patch on the area immediately (usually my Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patches) and within a day or two it's either gone or completely flattened. I actually purchase these A'Pieu tea tree patches in sets of 10- each sheet has 12 patches on it. These are not thick like the more expensive patches, but feel and look more like a sticker or a piece of tape. The backs of these are a bit sticky and have a tea-tree scent to them. While I don't think these work miracles, they're insanely inexpensive (like under 50 cents per sheet) so I buy them in bulk and stick them on less offensive pimples before I go to sleep to help soothe them and protect them bacteria. They're great to have on hand, especially if you use more expensive patches. Having these on hand keeps me from going through my expensive patches too quickly!

Hada Labo: Skin Plumping Gel Cream
Hada Labo is a Japanese brand- they're actually Japan's #1 skincare line according to 3B! I know they also have a pretty big following here in the US as well. This line uses "Super Hyaluronic Acid" for a deeper, multi-layer hydration. This helps your skin become smoother and younger looking. This cream in particular combines the power of a serum with the hydration of a moisturizer and is clinically shown to hydrate skin for up to 24 hours! Whoo that sounds like good stuff! I've tried 2 or 3 products from this brand before and I've enjoyed them, so I'm happy to give this a try too! It's a great time to get a moisturizer like this too- the weather has been so dry lately!

Ra & Gogwoori: Whitening UV Sun Cream
You might be wondering why the heck 3B would include a sunscreen in a November bag. You might also be like me and be super excited about it. While some people only use sunscreen during the warmer months to protect the skin that is more exposed, I personally use it every single day and I recommend you do the same! The sun can damage and age your skin no matter what time of year it is, and sun reflecting off the snow is just as bad as those hot summer rays! This particular sun cream is light, non-sticky and has SPF 50 to protect and block UVA and UVB rays. You can use it alone or as a makeup base. Since it does say "whitening" in the title, I'm assuming this also doubles as a whitening cream- which basically means it has a tiny bit of a white tint to it to lighten and even out your skin tone temporarily.
Overall Thoughts
3B nailed it this month. Honestly I was super happy with everything in this box! A full size sun cream and all of these really generously sized samples! I love having a travel size starting essence since it's a must-have for me no matter where I am. I'm also excited to have a couple of new products to try! This was also a pretty solid curation in terms of product and brand variety. I say it every month, but I think 3B is absolutely the best value out there for anyone who is looking for a kbeauty subscription. Whether you're brand new to Korean/Asian beauty and want to familiarize yourself with products/brands, or you're like me and just want some new pretties showing up in the mail every month, 3B is a great option.

There is frequently 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, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.


  1. Oooh, what a great looking month! I hope they start shipping internationally soon (although New Zealand is probably fairly low priority), but until then I'll continue living through your posts :)

    1. You should definitely e-mail them! I know they said that they want to hear from international customers to see where there is a demand, so the more people from New Zealand they hear from, the better chance there is for them to open the subscription there. You never know! :)

  2. It's amazing how 3B can include so much great products for only $12 a month.

    1. I completely agree! Since they're about the same price point as Birchbox, they actually send way more full size products and the deluxe samples are always substantial in size. Plus when you take into consideration that shipping is included in the $12 a month- it's just an awesome deal!

  3. $12/month for this sounds like a great deal! I've stopped all my subscriptions since I have so much in my stash but this is definitely one I would consider. Thank you for sharing!

    Jenny // www.geekyposh.com

    1. I actually canceled 70% or so of my subscriptions as well because I was overwhelmed. I figured $12 isn't too bad to get a small amount of samples to try out every month. Plus it's so fun to get a little kbeauty package in the mail each month! :)

  4. Looks like a great bag this month! Yay! I'm excited about the sunscreen since I was about to order more of the Missha Sun Essence I love. Do you have any other sunscreen recommendations? About to place a testerkorea order and I'd love to hear what your favorites are!