Hello again! It’s been over a year since we posted on the blog, but it’s 2019 now and we have a resolution to start blogging again! I know, it’s already three months into the year, but you have to start somewhere right? And even though we haven’t been posting here, we’ve been active on Instagram where we regularly post mini reviews (check it out!). Anyway…we thought what better way to start off than with a subscription box review?
Neither of us have ever tried a monthly k-beauty subscription box before, because the randomness of it can be scary. Both of us are on a budget when we shop for skincare, so we usually opt to buy products that we’ve selected ourselves. That’s why when JoahBox reached out and offered to send us a box, we jumped at the chance!
JoahBox is a k-beauty monthly subscription box that sends you 5 -7 full-size products ($60-$100 value) that are either skincare, makeup, or haircare. The items curated are supposed to be what’s trendy in Korea at the moment. We received the February ’19 box, which included 5 items that indeed ranged between skincare, makeup, and haircare. The items came neatly packaged in a plastic drawstring bag with the JoahBox logo and a cute, informational pamphlet that included short blurbs and tips about each product.
Now, let’s take a closer look at each product!
Milimage Bashful Blusher in #5 ROSE
Reviewed by Sara
I’d never heard of the brand Milimage, but as soon as I pulled this compact blusher out of the box I was immediately obsessed. The packaging is sleek and clean in a minimalistic way that calls to the organized, clean freak deep in my soul. The compact is also magnetized so if you use other Milimage products, you can stack them together neatly in your bag!
This is a cream-type blusher, which is my preferred type of blush, because I find that it looks more natural and has longer wear time than powder blush. This blush definitely lives up to the claims of having a velvety texture and applies very smoothly. It’s not as strongly pigmented as western blushes, but instead gives you a pleasantly flushed look. The color is a soft rose that is perfect for a simple, daytime look and it’s quickly become my go-to for work. As for wear time, it lasts most of my 8-hour work day but needs some touching up if I intend to go out after.
Milimage Face Tone Sealer
Reviewed by Rosa
Piggy-backing on Sara’s review, Milimage’s tone sealer’s outward appearance is near identical to the blusher, making the pair a charming package that sticks close together thanks to the magnets. Sleek and thin, it fits easily in any makeup case or even on the go if you want to slip it into your purse. I’ve never had any sort of corrector in my makeup routine before (aside from concealer) so I was a little skeptical about using purple or green tinted makeup on my face. To my delight, it’s the best thing I’ve ever introduced to my full face makeup looks. While I’ll admit I don’t get too much use out of the yellow or white colors, I’ve seen a great difference in my makeup when using the purple corrector for my under eyes and the green corrector for those pesky red spots left from blemishes. While of course this isn’t the end all be all for flawless makeup, I find that it helps tremendously for those of us trying to do simple no-makeup looks.
British M Ethic Shampoo
Reviewed by Sara
This is a gentle shampoo that is free of sulfates, silicone, mineral oil, artificial color, animal ingredients, parabens, and preservatives. The formula includes 10 plant-based ingredients that help keep hair pH balanced and strengthen hair follicles so that hair loss is reduced. I was excited to discover this was a mild formula, because I do wash my hair daily. I know it’s not recommended to do so, but I have fine hair that gets weighed down easily and is usually flat and oily by the end of the day. So, I am forever on the hunt for a gentle, non-stripping shampoo that doesn’t leave residue. Did this shampoo live up to my to my demands? Kind of.
The product is very liquidy, so I needed quite a bit even for my shoulder-skimming hair. With regular use the bottle will definitely run out quickly. Also, it doesn’t foam up since there are no sulfates, which is a good thing because that means it’s less likely to irritate your scalp. After the first wash my hair did feel soft and clean, but after a few days of consistent use I started to get some build up. This is a very mild shampoo, that I feel is good for those who are worried about scalp irritation or about stripping their natural oils. It works well as a daily shampoo, but because it’s very mild build-up will occur, so I recommend using in combination with a clarifying shampoo.
Aqulabo jelly Mist Mask Booster
Reviewed by Rosa
As the name suggests, this mist is supposed to be used before applying your sheet mask. The consistency in the bottle is a thick jelly, but sprays out with the consistency of an essence; thicker than water but definitely not jelly-like. I find it absorbs into the skin easily and works well on its own without masking to pack a lot of hydration to your skin. As a sheet mask booster it’s just fine. I think it works as well as any first essence that is meant to help hydrate the skin. What I will say though, is that this product has a short ingredient list that consists of all-star hydraters, fighters of inflammation, and helpers in increasing skin elasticity. While the full size product is pricey at $32, it may just be worth it if you’re looking for a product that really works.
Butiqlab Sheet Mask
Reviewed by Sara
I have to say that I was disappointed when I pulled this sheet mask out of the box. This mask looks like a $1 mask that I would pick up from the drugstore or that would be thrown in for free with an online order. I was expecting a specialty sheet mask since this is a subscription box. The ingredients aren’t listed in English, but I can tell it’s a bare-bones mask. I’m also a bit of a biased against Aloe Vera, because personally I think it’s boring and doesn’t do much unless it’s used in concentrated quantities. I prefer sheet masks that pack more of a punch with what I consider “power” ingredients, such as propolis, centella asiatica, or snail filtrate.
The sheet itself was a basic cotton mask and didn’t have the best fit. It was a little big and it didn’t adhere to my skin well. From the smell, I’m relatively confident that alcohol wasn’t included in the ingredients. The after effects were sub-par as I expected, my skin felt slightly more hydrated but nothing a normal essence couldn’t achieve. I suppose this mask could be good for those who want something very basic, but I personally wouldn’t choose to purchase it.
Final Thoughts About JoahBox
Getting to try JoahBox has really opened our eyes to the world of beauty subscription boxes. It was a fun surprise to see what would arrive and we were pleased that a variety of products were chosen instead of only skincare or only makeup. We were also pleasantly delighted to find the box was filled with k-beauty brands we hadn’t yet heard of, and products we probably wouldn’t have purchased for ourselves. It was a great way to discover some new favorite products and brands (we’re looking at you Milimage!). We did think the claim that all products would be full-size was a little misleading, because the jelly mist and shampoo were both mini-sized. Also, we do think the quality/value of the sheet mask provided could be better, especially since there were only 5 items in this month’s box, instead of the potential max at 7. Overall though, we had a very positive experience with JoahBox and loved getting a beauty surprise in the mail. Both of us would definitely consider trying out a subscription with them in the future when we’re feeling adventurous!
If you’re curious about what other products JoahBox has sent out, make sure to check out their page of previous boxes! But if you’re already sold on trying it out, they offer several subscription plans that range from 1 month at $35.95 to 6 months at $207.95 ($34.65/month) that you can check out here.
What are your thoughts on JoahBox or beauty subscription boxes in general? Let us know your thoughts below!