3B Box Subscription Box Review – February 2016

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3B Box is a monthly subscription box that helps you discover popular Asian beauty products.

My Subscription Addiction pays for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)


The Subscription Box: 3B Box

The Cost: $12 per month

The Products: 4-5 sample- and full-size Asian beauty products

Ships to: US

Check out the Beauty Subscription Box Directory for more skincare & makeup boxes!


Each month the products come packaged in an organza (or maybe tulle?) baggie.


Each bag comes with a helpful info card.


Lioele Eyelash Curler – $3.50

The Lioele (pronounced lee-oh-el-lee) eyelash curler is your basic curler with a rubbery grip. The materials don’t feel high quality so my expectations are low in terms of performance. Also included are two extra rubber pads.


Leaders Black Aqua Pore Scaling Mask – $4

I love sheet masks! Plus I’ve used this Leaders mask before and really liked it. It contains charcoal, volcanic ash, as well as chlorella and green tea extracts to remove impurities while hydrating the skin. When I used this as part of my nightly routine, the material fit comfortably on my skin and it didn’t leave my face sticky afterwards. After discarding the mask I poured the leftover essence from the packaging into my palm and applied it to my face. 

Instructions on the packaging are in Korean. 3B Box’s info card states to apply the mask onto face after cleansing and leave on for 20-25 minutes.


Etude House Look At My Eyes Cafe Eyeshadow in BR401 – $4.60

This is a shimmery light brown eyeshadow that feels super buttery soft. Just one light swipe from my finger gives good pigmentation, but it sheers out when blended with a brush. Korean makeup styles focus more on natural, sheerer eye looks compared to, let’s say, the bold and pigmented look you can get from MAC. Therefore if your Korean eyeshadows wear sheerer than those from Western brands, it may be intentional. See swatch below.

As a side note, I’m pretty sure the BR401 shade I received is from Etude House’s Look At My Eyes line and not the Look At My Eyes Cafe line. Slightly different name but definitely different colors.

Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream 5g sample – $1.50

I used to own a full-size tube of this but ended up giving it to a friend who had been wanting to try it. I felt like a proud mom sending her child off to college… if you can consider beauty products as children? Anyway, receiving this little tube was like said child coming home temporarily for winter break. The cream is thick but not heavy on the skin. It’s also scentless and best of all, not sticky! The lightweight formula and matte finish works really really well for my skin. I’m sad the sample isn’t bigger.

This cream, which contains snail mucin and bee venom, claims to heal acne, soothe skin, and hydrate. I’m adventurous when it comes to skincare ingredients so bee venom doesn’t bother me and snail slime is old news. However I know this sentiment may differ for the snail shy or for those in search of vegan products.


Top is the Etude House eyeshadow, swatched with a finger. Bottom is the oh-so-wonderful Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream.

Verdict: This month’s 3B Box was ok for me. On one hand, I love the Leaders mask and Benton Steam Cream. On the other hand, the value is about $13.60, only slightly higher than the cost. I know that previous months have delivered better value, so February is hopefully just an exception. Overall the 3B Box is still an affordable way to get introduced to Asian beauty.

If you’re thinking of signing up, all new subscribers get put on a waitlist (I was waitlisted for a couple months).

Also, a note about retail values. The thing about Asian beauty is that it’s hard to determine a true retail value. Many times you can find individual items you receive in subscription boxes for cheaper on internationally-based retailers or on Amazon. Cheaper prices, however, do not account for other factors such as shipping costs, slow international shipping time, or item quality.

What do you think of this month’s 3B Box?

Written by Nancy Su

Nancy Su

Nancy used to be a Candy Crush addict but then she became addicted to subscription boxes instead. Now she has a particular interest in Korean/Asian beauty after seeing the wonders it has done to her skin. She’s constantly in search of new lippies, skincare, and tasty international snacks.

Posted in 3B Box Reviews, Beauty Subscription Boxes, Makeup Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women| Tags: 3b box | 13 comments


  1. When you subscribe to several beauty subs (which I do) some boxes/bags are just going to miss the mark, have repeats or just flat out disappoint in comparison. I received an eye lash curler in my Beautyfix box this month so I wasn’t wowed to get another. I like Benton and wish that would have been bigger. This is only my second month with 3b and I enjoyed Januarys box so maybe next month will be better.

  2. So… bee venom? Being deathly allergic to bees & anything with a stinger, that would put me out of the group who could find use in this product. I hope that this ingredient information is clearly stated for people like me. It would be awful for someone who has such an allergy to use this w/out knowing!

    • I think you need more information to know whether the “bee venom” is actually of the allergen variety. I have a lethal shellfish allergy yet can use quite a few products that claim to incorporate shellfish as active ingredients. I also have a very serious topical iodine allergy. Variations of iodine are in just about everything (it’s salt after all) so that’s another more common skincare product ingredient. The key is whether the ingredients are in an unaltered, organic form versus deactivated or synthetic variations. Given that bee venom isn’t as common a component in skincare products, most allergists would advise you to just steer clear of th new products that advertise the ingredient (though “bee venom” isn’t necessarily a new ingredient having popped up in a few serums and masks over the last year). I have to investigate skincare ingredients as thoroughly as possible to see if I can use them. Otherwise I’d be proactively boycotting a lot of product lines entirely when it really isn’t allergy-required. My experience is that often when a company advertises a specific allergen-ingredient it’s less likely to be a risk to me due to being incorporated in a synthetic/altered format. The scarier risks for me are those you’d never expect to contain shellfish, including bananas (shellfish shellac is now commonly used as a preservative for east Asia fruit imports) and one particular hair product that legitimately used seaweed in a very high concentrations (high iodine content). Best advice is to avoid triggers unless you can verify the specific ingredients, which is often difficult to do with K beauty products.

      • I need to weigh in on this. I have a mild(mild, I tell you!) reaction to venom from bug bites(bees, mosquitos, spiders). Last year, I received the wen bee venom masque(birchbox) and got a reaction from just touching a slightly open container. It required a dose of antibiotics and Benadryl from my doctor. So, please if you are allergic-skip it. Even with mild reactive persons, like myself-this could induce a major reaction. It still ticks me off as their are not enough points to cover a $200 emergency doctor visit…

        • That’s why I stay away from anything that woukd even hint of bee venom. If your regular reaction to bees is mild & you experienced that, I can’t even imagine what mine would be like! What product from BB gave you the reaction? I want to ensure I don’t have it in my sample drawer! I’m so glad you are okay, though!

        • I’d have to agree to exercise caution. I’m allergic to mushrooms & a few years ago accidentally used a product that contained mushroom extract. No idea whether the mushrooms were synthetic or real since the ingredient list didn’t specifically list it. However, my body reacted to the mushrooms just the same and luckily for me, medication worked. The mushrooms were far down on the list, too, of ingredients, but I’ll never use a product with them again. It can be far too dangerous. An allergy is an allergy, simply put. It’s not something to play or guess about.

    • That’s a great point! Bee is in the product name so that’d be a red flag. I pulled the ingredient list from Memebox and cross-checked with Benton’s packaging: Snail Secretion Filtrate, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Niacinamide, Stearic Acid, Behenyl Alcohol, Phytosqualene, Human Ogliopeptide-1, Bee Venom, Arbutin, Adenosine, Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernal Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Arginine, Carbomer, Urea, Tocopher Leaf Extract, Salix Alba (Willow Bark) Extract, Ulmus Campestris (Elm) Extract, Pentylene Glycol, Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract, Pilsatilla Koreana Extract, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract

  3. I thought the dollar value low but I did like the stuff I received. The eyeshadow was such a pretty color and nothing like any I already own. I had been thinking of getting a new eye lash curler since I don’t like the one I currently use. I was thinking of quitting but I know if I do there will be something amazing the month I am no longer subbed.

  4. This was a low value box this month!! These past months were amazing. I’ve had their subscription as long as they’ve been open! It’s slowing down now. I’ll wait a few more months to see if it picks up! If not, someone on the wait list will be happy!!

  5. Great review! The eye shadow & sheet mask look promising.

    I’m on the waitlist and can’t wait to sign up, although, I don’t know how eager I am to try snail slime! 🙂

    • The thought of snail slime grossed me out at first. But then I looked up a sheet mask I had used, after the fact, and found out it had had snail slime in it. I never even would have known. It is highly purified!

      • I hear it’s good for skin elasticity and I’m ‘at that age’ – You know, the ‘hey, I’ll give it a try if it can help turn back the clock a couple of years’ stage of my life. 🙂

        I’ve only been on the waiting list for a couple of weeks, but this sub seems different and very interesting. Can’t wait to get the go ahead to sign up.

  6. I really appreciate all of the reviews on the Asian skin care boxes/bags. I am looking to try one and got this one this month. It was a bit of a let down and might switch it to Ms. Tutti if next month is not better.

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