Beauty Heroes December 2019: Max and Me

I delayed writing this post for as long as I could because I thought that if I spent more time with this month’s products, I would eventually feel the love that every blogger and customer feels for this month’s Beauty Discovery featuring two (expensive!) Max and Me products. December’s hero product is the Sweet Serenity Mask & Wash ($98) and the sidekick is the newly launched facial mist called The Intuitive ($75) and I wanted to be sure I wasn’t missing anything before posting my review.

It didn’t work. I’m obviously still missing something.

The Sweet Serenity Mask & Wash is meant to target hard-to-treat skin issues including irritated, dull, and uneven skin. As such, it is a little powerhouse of potency. New Zealand Manuka honey, which is one of the most healing ingredients in skincare; Balinese cacao powder with its transformative enzymes; Thai mangosteen powder to tame inflammation; fatty acids delivered through a number of seeds. So much stuff happening here, and Max and Me uses high quality ingredients as well.

Max and Me has some of the most beautiful packaging in green beauty. It blows me away every time I see it. The mask and wash is contained in a cylindrical, ribbed paper box. The product’s name printed in thin, modern purple font against an iridescent flower petal; a tiny gold embossed fairy hovering on the side. The medium sized dark glass jar has the exact same labeling and feels luxuriously heavy in your hand.

The texture and scent is practically otherworldly.

The fragrance is delicious and captivating: rich, spicy, and earthy. It seems half dirt and half dessert. The color is an attractive red-brown and the texture starts as a mousse and melts into a pudding. The Sweet Serenity Mask & Wash is indulgent, people!

And yet…

I don’t love it. I mean, it’s good. It’s really good. But I don’t love it.

Here’s one reason why.

The instruction… booklet? Too much. Just much too much.

Max and Me does does not print the directions for use anywhere on the packaging. Not on the exquisite box. Not on the perfect label of the jar. Oh no. Instead, they have created this dee-lightful foldout, that when opened, measures roughly eight inches by four inches wide. Why tho?! Why? This foldout is just begging to get lost. After I received it, I used Sweet Serenity as a wash but didn’t try it as a mask for a couple of weeks. When I wanted to use it as a mask, I had to go dig up the direction insert to see how much to use, and how long before I rinse and… oh wait, I already lost it because it’s a folded up piece of paper!

It kills the luxury for me. I don’t need to read an entire insert on the benefits of each ingredient, which currently takes up more than half of the booklet. Skip the sales pitch and tell me how to rub this on my face.

Oh look. There’s another piece of paper inside the gorgeous box.

Though still at risk to end up in the garbage prematurely, there is second paper in the box which has the short and sweet version of the instructions.

Sweet Serenity made for an excellent mask and my skin received a serious boost in hydration each time I used it. I dare say it may have even outperformed the Josh Rosebrook Advanced Hydration Mask by a narrow margin. However, I was not impressed with it as a wash. It’s recommended to remove the cleanser with a cloth, but even by that method, it felt like there was a subtle, sticky residue that stayed on my skin and kept it from feeling completely clean. I found myself reaching for a second cleanser repeatedly and finally gave up using it as a wash altogether.

The verdict? I wish it wasn’t so, but I don’t think I’m likely to repurchase. Sweet Serenity is a high maintenance cleanser that didn’t leave my skin feeling clean, and while it truly excelled as a mask, others rival it for a fraction of the cost. If you’re after a honey mask, Leahlani’s Mermaid Mask ($38 — sadly not carried at Beauty Heroes) and LILFOX’s Jungle Glow ($75) come quickly to mind. I am frivolous AF when it comes to my beauty spending and even I’m hesitant to throw down $100 for this product as a mask. It’s good, but I’m just not sure it’s that good.

I have not discussed The Intuitive, mainly for the sake of length, but my experience with the facial mist was underwhelming. The Intuitive has a very high quality spray nozzle that delivers the most even, delicate mist — a rarity among facial sprays — but the scent is significantly less intoxicating than Sweet Serenity’s and that combined with the $75 price tag means The Intuitive will not be making a permanent home in my beauty cabinet.

I had been eyeing the Max and Me facial care in the Beauty Heroes Store for a little while. I love the body oils and was interested to see how the skin care performed and they performed quite well. They are lovely products that certainly benefit my skin, but the same benefits are available in other brands at a lower price point so I doubt I’ll repurchase these products without the encouragement of a really good sale.

A note about Beauty Heroes: Beauty Heroes has completely changed the way I experience clean beauty. My love for this company is real. Each month’s beauty discovery box contains a full-size Hero product and a deluxe sample-size or full-size Sidekick product for about $43/month. Many of the full-size Hero Products retail for upward of $70 and the deluxe Sidekicks often well above $30, so it’s one of the most cost effective ways to explore new brands and products. Additionally, members of the Beauty Heroes Tribe receive 15% off all purchases at The Beauty Store and free shipping on orders over $75, so it’s less expensive to repurchase items you’ve discovered and loved.