On that note, anything spa related sounds perfect right now. And Beauteque's [side note: I always pronounce this like "bow-tek"... but apparently it's "byoo-tek". I blame my pitiful high school french classes on this.] August Head-to-Toe Spa Bag is just the thing. (Full disclosure: I received this bag for free to review, but all my opinions are my own, sincere thoughts). [Skip the next two paragraphs if you're bored and just want to see the damn bag already!]
A bit of background: Asian cosmetics are the new rage (at least in the circles I run in), whether it's Memebox or Beauteque or even just a spontaneous trip to H-Mart (currently at the top of my list of things to do). Beauteque broke out onto the scene fairly recently, and it sells Asian cosmetics from within the US (New Jersey, I believe), so shipping is very reasonable, and overall their prices are reasonable. The company has had some awesome marketing techniques as it gets off the ground, including sending sample bags out to anyone who managed to order it. What I think is really awesome, though, is that it was founded by a 16 year old girl (Elina Hsueh) in order to share Asian cosmetics with the Western world (and I know I speak for many people when I say we are all for making these things more accessible!). When I was 16, I was... I don't even know. But I certainly wasn't starting a company. In any case, business reasons I aside, I fully support young people (making myself sound like a grandma here) going out into world on their own accord and just doing things, whatever they may be.
Also, despite the fact that Beauteque is less than a year old, it's already had its first charity event (Shine a Light in the Dark: a Night of Female Empowerment). For $10/$15 (10% of the proceeds went to a battered woman's shelter), there were guest speakers, cocktails and food, a donation drive, free facial and body sessions and access to sample bags and Beauteque products. I know I've already gushed (and I swear, no one is paying me to say these things), but I am honestly very impressed. This is definitely a worthy cause and events like this are not something I see often from beauty companies.
ANYWAY. On to the bag. Since I know that's what you're here for, I'll just put this lovely picture of my goodies up front. (My at-home photo set up was kind of out of commission at this point, so I didn't take many pictures - my apologies. Also, flat pouches are just not that fun to photograph...)
The bag comes with 7 masks (all in a sturdy bag like so -->):
- 1 eye mask
- 1 wash-off face mask
- 2 sheet face masks
- 1 hair mask
- 1 hand mask
- 1 foot mask
plus a terrycloth headband/wrap type thing to keep your hair out of your face while you use the masks.
For the eye mask, we could choose between masks meant for dark circles, puffiness or smoothness. I thankfully don't have dark circles or puffy eyes (yet), so I went for smoothness, although now that I think about it, that's probably to get rid of wrinkles, eh? Don't have those either, but oh well. The eye mask is the small green pouch. Unfortunately it's almost exclusively in Chinese, but I can make out "my beautiful/beauty" and what I think is the character for "book", so I'm gonna go ahead and guess this is a My Beauty Diary mask. It's the Smoothness Intensive Care Eye Mask. After some googling, I see that MBD has three eye masks in this line: Smoothness, Dark Circles and Puffiness, so I was right. (Yay for minimal competency in Chinese!) The puffiness one looks cool (kind of like a masquerade mask), whereas the dark circles one looks like a mix of Goldfish (the snack, not the animal) and lobster claws (picture here). Sadly mine looks the least interesting, but I guess I should be rational and not let my judgment be based on how closely my mask resembles food.
Anyway, for the hair mask, the options are: nourishing, split ends, hydrating, chemically treated - keratin and extremely damaged hair. Again, I (thankfully) have pretty normal hair, so I just got the nourishing hair mask. I received the Hask Monoi Oil Nourishing Deep Conditioner. While I certainly don't mind it, this seems to be the odd one out as all the other products are from various Asian brands. I kind of wish the hair mask had also been from an Asian brand simply because it's those brands I don't get on my own, but oh well.
The next (and best, in my opinion) choice is for the facial sheet masks. Of these, I got to choose any two of the following concerns: oil control, whitening, pore control, anti-aging, soothing, nourishing, moisturizing and brightening. Hooray! I had a hard time picking these, but I ultimately went with pore control, due to my crater-sized pores, and brightening, because my face has always had a bit of redness and ruddiness to it that I just can't get rid of. The two masks I received were the Tony Moly I'm Real Red Wine Mask Sheet for Pore Care, and the My Beauty Diary Apple Polyphenol Mask, for tightening pores, brightening and clarifying (sweet- this one hit both of my concerns!) Given the infinite of masks there are out there, I'm not sure if there was just one set of masks these came from, or if someone at Beauteque just picked out two from their selection based on your choices. Either way, I was pumped as I love trying these sheet masks. I've only tried the MBD one, but I did enjoy it. To be perfectly honest, I've never really seen noticeable results from using a mask once (which makes me wonder why I love them so much, considering I usually only have one...). I don't know if it's just because my skin is that stubborn or what, but I know other people have had great success. That being said, while I don't think my skin was suddenly brighter or my pores were smaller after using this, my skin did feel very moist (in a real, healthy way, as opposed to feeling like I just had a layer of wet serum on my skin, which is often the case with these masks). I would use this again!
That was all for the choices, but the remaining products were:
- Skin Food Rive Mask (Wash Off) -- this was a full sized container! Super generous and I know some people rave about this mask. Unfortunately I already own it so this isn't a huge value add for me, but I think someone will be very appreciative to get it as a gift. My thoughts on the mask: it's not super effective on my thick as nails skin. If I'm going to exfoliate, I want something that really helps smooth out my skin. I think this mask would be great for people with sensitive skin as it's very gentle, but what can I say? I like it rough. Also, you're supposed to leave it on your face after massaging, but the texture makes me feel like the primary point of the mask is exfoliation, and I'm not sure what the benefit of leaving it on is. But like I said, my skin doesn't react (well) to anything, so it's hard for me to judge performance.
- Baby Silky Hand and Foot Mask Sheets -- I'm excited about these too. When I first took these out, though, I thought of the now-famous peeling-type foot masks (including one called Baby Foot) that are super effective and getting rough skin off your feet because they literally make your feet peel off in sheets. Pretty gross. But hey, it works. So when I took these out, I automatically assumed it was that type of foot mask, then got a bit concerned about a hand mask that did the same thing. I can cover my gross peeling feet, but peeling hands? Not so easy... But as it turns out, these are of the less aggressive family of hand and foot masks, and they're supposed to make your hands and feet baby soft, but does so through moisturizing rather than by unearthing the deepest layers of your skin. So I guess that's good. I haven't used these either though, because I actually do have a peeling foot mask, and I think this one would work much better as maintenance once I get rid of some of the tough skin on my feet. And the hand mask I'm saving for a special occasion (read: first date, i.e. when I expect to be holding someone's hand... is that dumb? Probably...). This is why I have so much crap though... I save everything for the perfect occasion which means I never use it!
Anyways, one thing I wish this had included is instructions on the various products. Some are straightforward enough (with pictures and clocks on the back), whereas some (mainly the eye mask), I have no idea how long I'm supposed to use it for. Not a huge deal, as marks are generally pretty simple, but it would have been nice to have some guidance for products whose info I can't read. That being said, it did include a cute little schedule for a relaxing spa day at home:
ANYWAY this post has become much longer than anticipated, and quite boring without pictures. But I wanted to share my goodies with you, since the mask craze is spreading. The bag costs $20 from Beauteque (available here). The Skinfood mask seems to be worth about $10-$15 ($9 on Amazon) which makes up for most of the cost. don't think this is some fantastic overwhelming value of a set, since single masks tend to be on the less expensive side (though to be frank I didn't look these up), but for $20 for a good selection of masks, it's $20 I'd easily spend on this over a crazy expensive actual spa day.
If you're interested, hurry and pick it up now - it's only available until Sept. 1. (but then hopefully we get to see the September box!). Did any of you pick this up (or are you planning on it?) Let me know what you think!