Tuesday, December 15, 2015

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

Guys! Christmas is less than two weeks away, can you believe this nonsense? In order to make room for Christmas gifts and maybe save a little extra, any subscriptions that I could "skip" this month, I passed on. Unfortunately that included both my Wantable Intimates and Accessories boxes. I miss them, but I know they'll be back next month! Until then, my regular month-to-month subscriptions seem to be coming in early. I appreciate that these companies are shipping out earlier than usual because of the holiday shipping rush. 3B is usually really good about sending their bags on time regardless. This is one of the few beauty-focused subscriptions I've continued to subscribe to. Not only is it really affordable, but there's a great mix of full and sample size products. That's great for me because not only is there a great value, but the products are in small enough bottles where I feel like I can actually use them up sometime this century!

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.

 Tonymoly: I'm Real Brightening Lemon Mask Sheet
I've seen the "I'm Real" masks popping up a lot in sub boxes this month. Maybe there was a deal? *shrugs* Regardless, I actually really like this line of mask sheets from Tonymoly. The wine one is my personal favorite, but interestingly enough the lemon is my second fave. It does a great job of brightening and evening my skin tone while temporarily tightening it up while hydrating.

Secret Key: Lemon D-Toc Peeling Gel
I feel super weird about getting this product because it stirs up mixed feelings. On the one hand, I absolutely love this product and I use it once or twice a week to gently exfoliate my skin since I can use harsh scrubs on my face. However, this is the 3rd tube I've gotten in the past couple of months. I'm not even close to being halfway through my first tube yet, so this is just a huge overage of product! This peeling gel is great for gentle exfoliation as it removes dead skin cells while brightening and detoxifying. To use it, simply take a nice size glob and massage it on clean, dry skin. You'll eventually feel a bit of a residue forming. Once it becomes a dry/difficult to continue massaging, simply rinse off.

It's Skin: Prestige Creme D'Escargot BB Cream
I had a bit of a BB cream enlightenment recently. I've been using the same BB cream for close to 4 years now- The Skin79 Absolute Diamond BB Cream. This isn't one of the famous Skin79 BB's, but one that I stumbled upon years ago when a friend gave me a tube because it didn't match her skin tone. While I've loved that one for a long time, I'm starting to think they've discontinued it because it's getting pretty impossible to find on ebay anymore and it's not available in most online stores anymore, either. I've been frantically digging through my stash of foil samples and trying all kinds of BB's and I'm actually constantly impressed with them! I still haven't decided which will be my "new BB cream" yet, so I'm going to add this one into the contest as well! This one is formulated with snail mucin and helps correct blemishes, diminishes the appearance of wrinkles and smooths skin's texture. It also offers UVA/UVB protection with SPF25 PA++. I'm hoping that it has decent coverage and a nice finish that isn't too tacky/sticky. Fingers crossed!

 Boutique Bebe: Hair Salon Vita Clinic Ampoule
I have seen this brand in Memeboxes many moons ago and have tried one or two products that I liked. I thin this product was also featured in a past Memebox, although I didn't end up getting that particular box for whatever reason. This is a deep conditioner that is made from bean flour, olive oil, red beans and Korean honey locust. You simply apply it to either dry or damp hair (nice!) and leave on for 20 minutes before rinsing. I love deep conditioning treatments because even though my hair is thin and fine, I heat style it almost daily so it tends to need a little pick-me-up, especially on the ends.

Etude house: Wonder Pore Freshner 
I have seen this product more times than I can count but for some reason I never tried it myself. This is used I'm assuming as a starting essence/toner combo product as it's applied after cleansing with a cotton pad. It's supposed to minimize the appearance of pore (temporarily of course) while balancing pH levels of the skin, controlling sebum and cleansing the inside and outside of pores with peppermint extract. For some reason I' getting the vibe that this product has alcohol in it. Peppermint extract can be pretty harsh on the skin when used directly, so I'll have to look into this a bit and see if I can use it. My skin is pretty OK with alcohol in small amounts so if this has decent reviews I'll give it a shot!
Overall Thoughts
I mean...3B has been nailing it month after month for awhile now, so it's no surprise that I'm very pleased with this month as well! I'm first and foremost concerned with the value of a subscription. If I'm not getting my money's worth and I could buy the items myself for the same price or less, I usually unsubscribe. The other thing is: am I using the products I get? Are they products I might buy on my own if I knew about them? 3B manages to pass all of those tests. Because even though some of the products are deluxe samples, they also include full size products regularly. And the $12 a month includes shipping. Anyone that regularly buys from korean websites knows how high the shipping can get sometimes! Overall I think 3B quenches my urge to buy lots and lots of samples to try. Honestly, I would actually love if they threw a couple bonus foil packet samples in each bag too just for fun! Think about it 3B, okay? ^_~

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.

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