Friday, September 23, 2016

Asian Beauty Sample Subscription: The 3B Box* Review

Today I'm coming to you with a short and sweet review of a new beauty sample subscription service that's going to interest all lovers of Asian skincare and make-up. As you may know, I'm a big fan of Japanese and Korean beauty products, so when I was contacted about trying out the 3B Box*, I was really excited to give it a go!
3B (Beauty Beyond Borders) is a beauty start-up from Seattle (Pacific Northwest FTW!) that offers a sample service program for Asian beauty products as well as an online shop where you can purchase full sizes of the goodies you trial in the box (the store is launching in a few weeks). The 3B Box* is $12/month and comes with 4-5 deluxe samples/ minis of skincare and/or make-up from both less expensive and more high end brands, so you can expect brands like SK-II or Sulwhasoo as well as Etude House or Skinfood. Each box also contains a description card detailing each product with its application tips, key ingredients and claims - that part is especially helpful since most of the writing on the products is not in English. Your credit card will be charged monthly after subscribing, and you can cancel any time by emailing the 3B customer service team.

Now that all the practical details are out of the way, shall we see what I received in my first 3B Box? I believe this was the August 2016 box, which is probably no longer available, but this still gives you a good idea of the type of goodies you may expect in future boxes.

The box was shipped via USPS First Class Parcel to me and delivered very quickly. It came packaged in a slim cardboard box, and inside I found a mesh bag containing most of my samples; the sheet mask was placed separately since it wouldn't fit in the pouch :)
I received: the Leaders Insolution 7 Wonders Amazonian Acai Anti-Pollution sheet mask ($6 each - I just purchased one from Ulta a few weeks ago because the Leaders coconut gel masks are some of my favorite sheet masks I've tried to date), Goodal Waterest Lotus Cleansing Tissue 20ct (the price online ranges a lot on this item but it's about $5 value), Etude House Age Defense Essential Softener deluxe sample (~$25 for full size 130ml; not sure of the volume of the sample but it's probably around 10-15ml), Tony Moly Floria Nutra-Energy Emulsion ($27 for full size 145ml; the sample is quite tiny, probably about 5ml), and lastly 5 foil packets of Hera Waterin Gel Serum (~$60 for 45ml, each sample packet is probably around 1ml). According to my super advanced math skills, the value of the box is roughly $20.
Overall, I'm happy with what I received in the box. First of all, I really enjoy Leaders masks, and you're getting one from their premium range in the box. The make-up remover wipes from Goodal will be super practical to pack in my hospital bag. I'll also happily test out the other skincare samples; yes, I do wish the Hera Waterin Serum was a deluxe sample instead of foils, but in my experience, having a few foil packets of a product is usually enough to give it a really good test run (at least a week of use for me). The service also promises between 4-5 deluxe samples, and this month's box had 2 full sizes, 2 minis and some foil samples - you could treat them as an 'extra'. I also noticed that with the samples provided in this box, you could even try out an entire new skincare routine: you have a product for cleansing, a moisturizing toner, a serum and a lightweight moisturizer. That's pretty neat, right?

You may remember that I've also tried a different K-Beauty subscription service in the past, the Beauteque BB Bag. The main difference between Beauteque and the 3B Box is the fact that BB Bags come with 7-8 full size items for $24/month. If you're looking for the best bang for your buck, the Beauteque is probably a better option; however, for me personally, it wouldn't work long-term as I would be simply inundated with more products than I would know what to do with. The 3B Box is more sustainable for how I use cosmetics; a few deluxe samples each month to trial and play with, which would then give me a good idea if I want to go ahead and purchase a full size.

There you go - a fun subscription service if you want to dip your toes in the world of Asian beauty products and familiarize yourself with new product types (sheet masks, essences, softeners, emulsions etc.) and brands (in case you didn't know, Hera is a popular high-end Korean brand under the AmorePacific umbrella, while Goodal is a more expensive skincare line available at Club Clio stores). What did you think of the contents of this 3B Box? Is this something you would like to try out?

Disclaimer: Product featured in this post is a press sample I received from the brand's PR for review consideration. All links are non-affiliate. All opinions are 100% honest and unbiased, no matter if the product featured was purchased with my own money or provided free of charge. Thank you for reading! 


  1. A sample box is a nice idea, as long as you can choose your skin type. I won't subscribe one, because I'm having lots of trouble with allergies...

  2. Looks like a nice discovery box indeed. I love that Asian skincare and make-up is becoming so popular now!