Beauteque Mask Maven is a monthly K-beauty subscription box dedicated to masks. If you love trying new Korean sheet masks, this subscription is for you!
FYI: This box has had significant shipping delays. Although they seem to be improving, the November box was rather late due to COVID-19 and holiday shipping backups at the US Postal Service.
My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About Beauteque Mask Maven
The Subscription Box: Beauteque Mask Maven
The Cost: $18.95 month-to-month ($15 subscription + $3.95 U.S. shipping). Save with 6- and 12-month subscriptions.
ACTIVE DEAL: Save 10% off of your subscription
The Products: 9 masks of all kinds, straight from Korea and Taiwan. Most are facial sheet masks, but you will sometimes see a hair mask, hand mask, or lip mask, too.
Ships to: The U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, and parts of Asia (see international shipping costs during checkout)
Beauteque Mask Maven November 2020 Review
The number of sheet masks out there for sale must be incredibly large. Mask Maven almost never sends repeat items, and I discover something new every month:
The box came with this information card. This month's theme was "Powered by Charcoal."
On to the items:
Eyenlip Charcoal Essence Sheet Mask – Estimated Value $2.10
I’m going to talk about charcoal once here and you can consider that it applies to all of the masks that have charcoal in this package (which is all of them except for the mystery mask, listed last). Charcoal is often used in chemistry labs to remove impurities from reaction products and is sometimes used in the GI tract in cases of poisoning, so it does have a track record of absorbing unwanted gunk.
I find that in skincare products charcoal often does make the pores on my nose look better after use. I will say, though, that I am not sure exactly how much charcoal can be in some of these masks because the sheets are white and charcoal isn’t white. In some cases, a charcoal extract is listed on the package or the product page and, as a chemist, this is a bit of a mystery to me because charcoal is essentially carbon and I’m not sure what you can extract out of it that isn’t black, at least at the kind of level that a cosmetic company would be doing (industrial processes can retrieve metals ranging from germanium to rare earth elements but those are energy-intensive and unlikely to be in play here).
Moving on, this mask was super heavy on the serum. Like drippy, drippy, drippy, so don’t wear a nice shirt when you are going to use it. (Not that I am wearing any nice clothes at all these days, not having been in to the office since March.) But it was very hydrating, which is nice in the winter when the air is dry and cold.
Mizon Charcoal Solution Black Mask Sheet - Retail Value $4.90
This one says it has charcoal powder, and the mask sheet is black, so maybe it does? It’s last on the ingredients list. Overall, though, this is a good all-around mask with some salicylic acid from willow bark and witch hazel for toning, allantoin to smooth rough skin, and matricaria and purslane for general soothing properties, plus lots of moisturizing ingredients. It’s a bit expensive for daily use though it may be available for less through Amazon or eBay (just be sure to use a trusted seller in either case).
Paxmoly Charcoal Bubble Mask
I couldn’t find this one for sale outside of Asia and I don’t have any idea how reputable the websites were so I haven’t linked to them here. Anyway, this is a bubble mask so once you open the package and put the mask on, something in the serum reacts with oxygen and the sheet gets covered with bubbles, which is supposed to provide some physical exfoliation. I’m not sure about that, but these masks are fun to use every now and then, just don’t get the serum in your eyes! You do have to wash your face afterward, you don’t want to leave the bubbles on indefinitely. I felt like the pores on my nose looked a little cleaner after this one. (I also can’t really tell the difference among all the different masks of this sort I’ve tried, for what it’s worth.)
Mekium Essence Charcoal Sheet Mask
I also couldn’t find this one for sale anywhere outside of Asia. Of course, there is charcoal but we’ve already talked about that. This one is also supposed to soften the skin and, while I’m not sure of the ingredients so I can’t say what’s responsible, I do feel that, in general, my skin has been quite soft and smooth while I’ve been using the masks from this package, so maybe there’s something to that? I certainly haven’t been doing a full skincare routine lately so maybe the masks are helping.
Beauty Treats Charcoal Deep Purifying Peel Off Mask - Retail Value $2.99 (currently on sale for $1.00)
Oh boy, this mask. I clearly do not have a good technique down for using peel-off masks because I basically ran out of product on the lower half of my face and didn’t get much on my forehead. You would think that would mean it would dry faster and be easier to peel off my forehead. But no. I was encouraged when I got a massive piece like 25% of my face off on the first try, but it went downhill from there and I ended up having to wash my face for like 5 minutes and go over my skin with a whole lot of toner on a cotton pad to get all of this off. Because it was black. And it got under my fingernails. (On the plus side, there is probably a ton of charcoal in this one for real.) The process of getting the mask off interfered somewhat with assessing the effects but I will say the lower part of my face where it did come off in one piece felt very low on oil afterward and stayed that way for a while. I sort of wish this came in a tube so you could use a little where you needed it (like my nose!) and then close it back up for later.
Beauty Treats Charcoal Purifying Sheet Mask – Retail Value $1.99
Although from the same brand as the previous mask, this one was much easier to handle, being a conventional sheet mask. This one was supposed to absorb oil and improve skin elasticity. Although normally I would say I couldn’t really tell whether it was working after one use, I think I *could* tell with this one, like it was toning and somewhat tightening (but in a good way) and it wasn’t super drippy either so the serum absorbed into my skin without much trouble.
Giggling a bit at the 1% discount heavily advertised on the selling site. Oh well. This is a hydrogel-type mask and it only covers the lower half of the face. It is dark grey in color so I guess it probably has actual charcoal in it as well. As it happens, I need charcoal more in my t-zone so I didn’t notice anything dramatic here, but it might be helpful if you are having breakouts from wearing face masks a lot in COVID times (I do wear them when I go out but I rarely go out except vet trips and once-weekly grocery shopping). This one stays in place quite nicely for a hydrogel mask.
Susu Charcoal Facial Sheet Mask
Here is another one I couldn’t find for sale from anywhere other than Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore, from sites I’ve never heard of and don’t want to vouch for here without more knowledge. But anyway, this is a fairly standard sheet mask that is hydrating and fits my face well (full disclosure, my head is on the smaller side and most sheet masks fit me fairly well). I can’t find much about the ingredients for this one (like what are they, even?) but then I suppose my recommendation doesn’t matter so much when you can’t even easily buy it. I do think it’s fun to receive products that are hard to find in the US because I might not have a chance to experience them otherwise, although I suppose that’s less useful if you are looking to find a product for daily use. I do think the pores on my nose looked better after using this one, for what it’s worth.
Niju Age Defying Collagen Mask – Retail Value $1.99
This was the mystery mask for the month (they tend to include one every month now). The mystery masks may vary (can anyone chime in on that?) and don’t fit the theme. So this one did not have charcoal, for example. It had papaya, which is used in some gentle chemical exfoliants (papaya has digestive enzymes that may help with getting rid of dead skin cells), allantoin to smooth out rough skin, antioxidants from tea leaves, and lots of moisturizing ingredients including collagen, which is most likely in a form too big to actually enter the pores, but which should hold onto water near the skin surface and help minimize the appearance of fine lines. I thought this was a good mask overall that hit several key points (moisture, antioxidants, etc.) and was maybe a little drippy as far as serum levels go. I would expect this to be one that would have greater benefits with daily use.
Verdict: I couldn't calculate a total value for the November 2020 Beauteque Mask Maven because several of the items were not available from reliable and/or US-based retailers. This was an interesting month for me. I feel like I had very little information on several of the masks (hard even to find them for sale online). On the one hand, it let me experience them without preconceived notions about what to expect, but on the other hand, I feel like I didn’t have a lot to say about them because many masks seem to have ingredient strategies where you’ll see the effects after continued use. At any rate, charcoal (or charcoal extract, as the case may be) generally does work well with my skin, so I’m happy with the monthly theme, and of course, lots of hydration is always welcome in wintertime.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, this was the November package. You have to sign up by the 15th to get a current month's box, so your first box would probably be January’s box, arriving in early February.
ACTIVE DEAL: Save 10% off of your subscription
Value Breakdown: At $18.95 for this box, you are paying approximately $2.11 per mask.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you think of the November 2020 Beauteque Mask Maven? Do you get any K-Beauty or Asian Beauty subscriptions?