cheers! this is my space for sharing skin care, makeup, booze, and anything else of my choosing. all views presented in this blog are mine and mine alone. rest assured that they are honest, un-sponsored and (mostly) unfiltered. all products presented were purchase by me unless otherwise noted. i reserve the right to change and/or edit any and all posts and comments without notice.

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sample Society - January 2013

Looking at the box, you're probably thinking "that's a great selection!" and that would be the same thought I had when I first saw it.  Some new brands, new products - yeay! My hopes were high for this box. Damn you, Sample Society, for crushing my hopes and dreams!!

I don't like to start with hate so let's talk about the Nicole Richie perfume first. With one clear exception (that being juicy couture) I try to be open minded about celebrity fragrances.  Maybe that's a bit generous. I try to at least give them a little sniff before tossing them in the garbage with some comments about how they are ridiculous, over-hyped examples of the lack of intelligence in today's youth.  My opinion about Miss Nicole is not as strong. I don't know that much about her but I do dig her dad and some of his 1980's jams. Because I'm not a complete jerk I'll spare you the nasty earworm and get on with the review though.  I was pleasantly surprised by this perfume.  It is a soft but warm scent with hints of vanilla, amber, patchouli and sandalwood.  I found it would last nearly all day without being overwhelming.  Nicole isn't a favorite for me, a little to much amber or sandalwood I think, but I enjoyed wearing it for a week.

The Lord & Berry eye pencil is sitting unused in my makeup stash.  It appears to be a perfectly decent black eyeliner, but I already have 3 Urban Decay 24/7 pencils in zero and the black Mally liner I received in the Fall NewBeauty TestTubefrom QVC. I know some believe that one can never have too many black eyeliners but I don't believe that.  I need variety in my life and in my pencils! So I'm going to leave this untouched for now, as it will probably go on to someone else as a trade or in a gift box.  Lord & Berry is an Italian brand and appears to be cruelty free.

These next two products, I pretty much hated.
 Snowberry is a brand from Auckland, New Zealand that I had never heard of. (let me give a little shout out to Auckland because I have a dear friend there. Hi Froggy!) Apparently it's a huge hit with a lot of people but I did not like this Lite Day Cream.  It's formulated for combination skin which is what I have now so I was optimistic. But as soon as I got a whiff of this lotion, I knew it wasn't meant to be.  It doesn't stink too bad straight from the tube but as soon as I started smoothing it on my face, it started to smell like old, moldy horse barn.  Ugh. And unfortunately that smell does not dissipate very quickly.  The consistency is fine and it's not greasy but oddly enough, it's also not moisturizing enough for me (and that's not something I thought I'd ever have an issue with).  Within 15-20 minutes of applying, I could see dry patches reemerging.  I ended up using a different lotion on top of it, one that doesn't smell so bad.  Snowberry seems like a decent company. They are carbon neutral  and carboNZero certified which is, I guess, a big deal in New Zealand. They also do not test on animals.  I'd be open to trying more products in the future but I won't be finishing this sample.

The dry shampoo from Serge Normant is probably the worst product I've tried to date, for sure it's the worst thing I've ever put in my hair.  This Meta Revive dry shampoo is supposed to refresh, add volume and shine, and all around make my hair look awesome. HA!  HAHA! Marie Claire actually picked it as one of the 25 best new beauty products that will change your life. Well, Ms. Claire, it changed my life because my hair feels disgusting and I want to scrub each strand individually, one by one, until all traces of this product are gone. And then I'll wash again.  Seriously, it smells good but that's where my "say something nice" ends. I tried this shit (yes, that's what I said) twice and both times I couldn't believe how horrible my hair felt and looked: dry, coarse, dull, lifeless, and ugly.  Both times my hair went back into a ponytail after I spent a good 10 minutes brushing the dry shampoo out.  It's rare that I don't finish a sample I start but this went straight into the garbage.  Horrible.  I feel like I need to apologize to my head and my stylist for what I've done; and Serge Normant should too.  As for the cruelty free status, this product was cruel to me and my hair. That's all I know.

I've sampled StriVectin products before and have found them to be fine but nothing mind-blowing.  The day I tried this retexturizing scrub, that all changed.  The magnificence of this exfoliator allowed me to forgive Sample Society for the dry shampoo debacle.  Yes, it's that amazing.  The consistency is coarse so it will scrub your face but it doesn't burn or dehydrate the skin.  In fact, it left my face feeling so soft and clean I couldn't stop touching it.  I didn't have any dry or tight feeling, just lovely, fresh and soft skin.  StriVectin says this is free of parabens, dyes, and fragrance.  I found it to have a light, clean scent that I really like.  And though they are not certified, the StriVectin site says this product does not contain animal products nor is it tested on animals. I just bought a new scrub from LUSH but had I not, I'd probably buy a full size of this one.  I can't say enough about how much I love what it does for my skin and it's reasonably priced at $29. 

Sample Society included an extra this month. It's Pantene AgeDefy Advanced Thickening Treatment.  I do have thin hair so I'm all for products that volumize and/or thicken.  This stuff is formulated for those of us with aging hair (whaaaaaat?) because as we become little old ladies, our hair gets thinner.  I've been using it for a week and I'm not blown away but I just realized I wasn't using as much as I should have been.  How's that, you ask? Well, the directions on the bottle referred me to the packaging or insert and there were no instructions included by Sample Society.  I just looked on the website and found I should have been using 15 sprays on damp hair; I'd say I went with 7-10.  Whatever. It smells good and doesn't make my hair frizzy and I guess it's a bit thicker. I'll use it up and hopefully my stylist won't smack me when he finds out.  Pantene is part of Proctor & Gamble and they are not cruelty free in the least.

What we have here, friends, is my last box from Sample Society.  I was annoyed enough by the black eyeliner, stink lotion and hair destroying dry shampoo to cancel my sub and move on.  I can say that the sample sizes, brands, and variety of products have mostly been good but I want to take my $15 a month elsewhere, at least for now.  No question what I received this month and every month is valued over $15 and I don't feel I was ripped off.  But there are other subs out there and I'm ready to expand my horizons.


  1. Your box was rather lackluster :( Mine had the lipgloss in it and I didn't mind it. Posting my review soon. And I hope you find new awesome subs!

    1. looking forward to your review! at least not everyone was so disappointed.

  2. What an awful experience with the dry shampoo! Yah my box doesn't seem so bad now.

    1. it was really really bad. i honestly don't know how anyone could think it's a good product.