Monday, October 8, 2012

Sample Society October Box from - Review Pictures Swatches

I had to make a sacrifice this month and cut out a lot of unnecessary expenses.  One of those items sacrificed was the Sample Society Box from  I cancelled it not because I thought it was a bad sample box, but because it wasn't the greatest sample box either.  OK. I'm not being clear.  Let me explain a little bit after we look at what was in the Sample Society Box for October.

A nicely arranged box, with 6 samples.

Upon closer inspection I see 2 bands I am familiar with, 2 that I don't care for at all, one I'm interested in trying and a perfume sample.  That's not terrible odds.   First the things I am not interested in at all.

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Herban Essentials Towelettes, Lavender $16 for 20 individually wrapped Towelettes
I guess with a 5 year old boy it's always a good idea to have some sot of wet wipe on hand for whatever messes he conjures up, but lavender has to be one of my least favorite scents, next to eucalyptus. This was just an extra in the sample box. It was nice they included it but I honestly have no interest in buying "high end" towelettes when I can buy wet wipes for about a $1 for 10.  I'm sure you all understand.  Sure the Lavender has some aromatherapy benefits and some anti-bacterial properties too, but not worth $16 USD. Sorry.

Jane Iredale Tantasia Self Tanner Deluxe Sample $36 4.2 oz
Sorry, I didn't even swatch this. Allow me to explain it.  It is the exact same color of the tube. It is a gel like semi opaque consistency and look. It spreads evenly over skin, but still feels sticky and is allegedly supposed to provide an instant bronze to the face or body and a gradual, "natural looking" streak free tan within three days.  I don't self tan. I embrace my paleness., but mostly I'm just to busy for the maintenance. And trust me, I used to do the self tan thing and the maintenance is a PITA (Pain In The A**).  That's going in the giveaway pile.

I guess I better get the perfume sample over with already.  Last month brought a sample from Diptyque that I adored. It wasn't the pedestrian overly sweet fruity floral that seems to be all the rage.  However this month the perfume sample was Aromachology Clean & Fresh Eau De Parfum Deluxe Sample $100 3.4 oz.  This EdP "Whisk"s me back to the early 2000's when there was a growing "Tide" of perfumes that got a big "bounce" from smelling a lot like a Laundromat.  While this type of scent "Gain"ed a lot of popularity, I didn't think it was "All" that.  I like smelling clean, but I don't need to smell like I sleep in a clothes dryer. You catch my "Dreft"?

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Deluxe Sample $85 for 2 oz
This brand I am very familiar with.  The Product I am very familiar with. It's nice to have a actual tube of ExfoliKate rather than a foil packet, so that's a plus for Sample Society, but right now this is way too harsh for my sensitive skin. I plan to use it on the KP on my arms. Hopefully that will help it a lot.  If you're not familiar with  Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment, it is Kate's top-selling product.  This exfoliator works both physically and enzymatically to deliver, dramatic results in one application. It effectively combats acne and blackheads, reduces discoloration and polishes skin for a smooth complexion.  It does.  I have used it before. It's like taking a layer of skin off your face.  You skin is baby smooth after use.  Just those with sensitive skin should steer clear.  This was a great sized sample from Beauty Bar!

The second familiar brand was Oscar Blandi. The Sample Society October box included a deluxe sample size of the Oscar Blandi Pronto Wet Color Safe Hair Care Deluxe Sample $24 8.4 oz
I love getting shampoo samples. I think because I'm so fickle when it comes to shampoo. Conditioner I can be loyal too, but shampoo, what's another story.  Anyway.  Pronto Wet from Oscar Blandi is supposed to be used in combination with Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo.  Pronto Wet is designed for every-other-day use to purifies hair, remove build-up and boost volume.  I can get on board with that. I use dry shampoo at least once a week.  (My hair is so dry that washing it every day would cause it to break off even faster than it does now) So this is a good size sample and I'm happy with it.

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Last but not least is the one sample I am interested in.  Erno Laszlo Phormula 3-9 Balm Deluxe Sample $245 1.7 oz
Yeah. You read that correctly. $245!  I wanted to try this because the recent use of the PaloVia laser around my eyes has been a little harsh on my skin. Plus the added drying acne medication AND change in the weather has done a number on my face. No only do I look like The Red Hulk, I look like The Red Hulk with acne and wrinkles. It's not a pretty sight. I'm hoping that this balm will make a difference.  Check out the marketing:
"Rich Repairative Moisturizer Smooth scars, wounds, burns, and dry skin with this intensive nourishing balm. Dryness, redness and puffiness are effectively treated beneath the balm's protective Health Dome. Skin is strengthened while irritation is reduced. Rich, anti-bacterial tropical Tamanu Oil boosts skin health and promotes rapid healing. Dromiceius Oil restores the skin's moisture barrier and stimulates skin cell renewal. Yeast Extract improves skin cell respiration. Marine-based Glycosaminoglycans promote collagen production for greater smoothness and elasticity."
However, at $245 for 1.7 ounces it would have to turn me into Ms. Marvel and give me the ability to fly in order for me to purchase it!

So why am I cancelling my subscription?  This October box was not disappointing, but it didn't knock my socks off. Perhaps if the Erno Laszlo sample was larger and the perfume sample wasn't so suck in the late 90's I would have kept it.  Perhaps if they included a real makeup item from a brand OTHER than Jane Iredale I would have kept it.  Perhaps if they would offer a By Terry sample that I see advertised on the Beauty Bar website, but never in my Sample Society box.  I might have kept my subscription.  But for $15 a month I just had to make a choice to cut back and sadly that  Sample Society Box had to go. I certainly think that Sample Society is a good service. They have good Customer Service and fast shipping. They package everything well, It's just an added $15 a month expense that I couldn't afford right now.  Do you all think I made the right decision? 


  1. I often feel like I am in a beauty box rut. I have a lot right now but I pay for 3: Glossybox, Birchbox, & MyGlam. I know not everyone is happy with Glossybox, but I have been. Plus, their customer service was very efficient the one time I needed it. I also don't see them using all the repeat boxes others do. MyGlam probably needs to be canceled, they've been Meh. But I will probably always have Birchbox. If you do the points survey, it brings the cost down to about 5 bucks a month. Then I buy their exclusive items in the shop. I haven't tried sample society because I haven't seen anything that blows me away & its another $5. Sounds silly I guess but it is MY $5!

  2. Well, it's "only" 15 bucks, but then again, if you add it all up it's quite a bit of money spent on items you don't necessarily need or even like. So I think you made the right decision.

  3. I just can't get into these sample boxes. If a company launched something made up entirely of actual makeup, I'd probably get on board. However, I have absolutely no interest in skin care products (I've been fortunate to find a routine that works wonders for me-and it's under $50 a year), and the other random things they tend to throw in would just irk me.

  4. Yes, I think you made the right decision! Honestly I've been wondering for months why you and other bloggers keep trying all these sample services, lol. Maybe it's just that I'm the kind of person who'd rather peek and know what she's getting for Christmas in advance - but I'd rather spend $15 on one (or even half of) a product I know I'll like than put it toward a surprise box of samples that may or may not end up appealing to me! =x

  5. I know I buy these boxes to learn about new brands and to get a prize every once in a while but this box is terribly disappointing. I do get your drift. I don't think it was worth the money at all. I'm going to give this one more month but then I'll probably cancel too.

  6. Oof. Looks less than exciting, and I am an avowed hater when it comes to 'fresh laundry' scents.

    A while ago--during my brief fling with Birchbox--I received a sample of the Laszlo Transphuse Night Serum (or, I THINK that was the sample I received), but it was simply too small to properly gauge whether it was worth the hefty price tag. Alas. I do love the classic Hollywood heritage, though, and have always wanted to try the blue facial bar.

  7. It sounds like you made the right decision for you.

    At the moment I have two sample box subscriptions: BirchBox and BeautyFix from DermStore. Of the two, I think BeautyFix is tops and will continue with it as long as they offer it. With BeautyFix, you pay more (nearly $50, but it's not hard to find coupons for $10-20 off) but only get boxes once per season (4 boxes per year). They give you a list of choices and you get to pick 8 deluxe or full-size items. So if you want hair stuff one season, then skin care another, you can do that with BeautyFix. The best part is that by filling out just 2 short product surveys, you get a $25 gift card for DermStore/Blush/HairEnvy. So really, the cost of the box is more like $25.

    BirchBox I have been pleased with overall, some months are more 'meh' than others, but they do a great job with curating products and I love some of their exclusive items, like the BirchBox Pink shade of Jouer lip gloss -- gorgeous.

    I am considering GlossyBox and Sample Society subscriptions, but I'm going to wait until I go through more of my samples and whatnot from recent Barneys/Neiman/Nordstrom beauty event/GWP sprees.


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