Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Sample Society December 2014: A Cautionary Tale

Hi hi!

      Haven't blogged in ages, but something happened where I really felt the need to share. Sample Society's boxes have been hits or misses for me lately. That's how these things are, some things you like, some things other people like.

     This box was awesome. Everything is perfectly curated, and the timing is spot on. Tried on the eye cream- it's really light and doesn't feel greasy or have random gross things peeling off your face (sampled a lot of those weird ones!). The RGB nail polish came right in time for my next manicure, and I'm super excited to try the Burberry thing. My friends and I are going out on Friday, so you can bet these products are going to be tested out!

     HOWEVER, one very upsetting thing occurred. I opened my Butter London Lip Balm to see the top smooshed. The lipstick was turned all the way down, so I chalked it up to poor design- the lip balm stuck out too far and hit the lid or something. Not a big deal- for now ("They might want to fix that" I thought). As I turned the lip balm upwards, eager to try it out, I noticed it was slanted. "Ohhh... it probably wasn't inserted straight, causing the top to be off too. Let me just push it in then, it won't look the same, but oh well."

I reached the bottom, and saw this. THE ENTIRE BASE IS BROKEN. That's lovely. Ok, no big deal, I'll just email customer service and ask for a replacement. When I had a burst sample for Birchbox (only one lipgloss after 2 years), I emailed them, and they sent me a replacement right away- got it the same week.

     The response from Sample Society is not the same at all. They said they don't have these items on hand, and can't send me a replacement, so they'll give me store credit of $5 for 90 days. WTF. Do you know what you can get for $5 from beautybar? GIFT BAGS AND RIBBON. AND, You have to buy $49 worth of things for free shipping. Otherwise, it's $5.99 for shipping. The Butter London lip balm is $20. So you're making me buy extra things, just to use this measly $5 credit, FOR SOMETHING THAT I ALREADY BOUGHT, THAT YOU SENT DAMAGED. WITH THIS FULLY PAID FOR BOX, SHOULD BE A BUTTER LONDON LIP BALM IN PERFECT CONDITION. I paid for a box in mint condition. Nowhere, did you say before this box was purchased that I am buying a box with items damaged. And with this joke of a credit, I can't even get the Butter London lip balm off the site to replace this broken one.

     Second point. VALID FOR 90 DAYS? That is ridiculously messed up. So now you're putting a time limit on when I have to make these EXTRA purchases by. Even though this is YOUR mistake, I have to pay for it (literally!).

     With this experience, I can say that Birchbox has way better customer service than Beauty Bar. If the boxes I like are becoming fewer, and the customer service is this poor (it was one service, that you can't even get right), it may not be worth it to continue with this subscription. Occasionally I do find gems in these boxes, but it may be more worth it to check out things that other customers have reviewed well instead of investing in the whole box.

     So now you've been warned. Butter London lip balm rant aside, I hope to be able to post swatches of the RGB nail polish in Oxblood later this week. Very excited!

***Customer Service Side Rant***

     This just reminded me again. A couple months ago, I went crazy trying to find a dress for a cocktail in the city for an awards show. I seriously went to 5 different malls in the same week. I found a candidate dress at one Lord & Taylor. When I went up to checkout, the manager snapped at me that there was no tag. I said "Ohh...ok..." and started to retract the dress, wondering why she didn't help me find a tag then- that's what sales associates at other stores normally do. The manager literally THREW the dress in my face. I couldn't believe it and stood there for several seconds stunned. It may sound like I'm being dramatic, but I can assure you that I am not. This was after walking all over the floor trying to find someone to help me check out and dealing with that frustration for half an hour (call me an idiot). I actually left the store, went shopping at Macy's, and came back. I've been so busy I haven't had time to write a complaint. You can bet that I will during my vacation though. I have the receipts (found the dress in a different size with tags- how hard was that?) with date and time, and that area was being filmed, so they can go and verify that information themselves. You can't treat people like that. The Lord & Taylor I usually go to is wonderful. They have excellent service and are always willing to help. This location, however, was not like it at all.

     I never used to write complaints to companies, but after working in industry, I realized the power of complaints. If you don't let the company know that something is wrong, then they can never improve, and nothing will change. Now, I'm not saying you should go crazy sending complaints about everything. Choose carefully to see if a situation can be improved.

     I was switching to Geico because of the low rates, but everyone I talked to had terrible things to say. I experienced part of the reason why myself when in one of the offices. The person I had helping me gave horrible customer service. She never went into any of the details of the policy- just pulled up what I had blindly filled in online, and asked me credit or debit. Then she rushed me as I was trying to read through the 30 pages of documents that I was supposed to sign. On top of that, she yelled at another customer to go home and do what he wanted to do over the phone. It was something that could be done in the office or on the phone, but this person has already come all the way to your office. Why would you send them home again? So I wrote out my concerns and sent them to the company. The manager of that office called me, and we had a chat. I don't know if anything became of that, but I suggested some extra training. Sales and customer service go hand in hand.

Hopefully you never have to go through these experiences, but if you have, I'd love to hear your story and how you handled it in the comments below!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Birchbox: August 2013

Hello Hello, still alive.

     In all my months of Birchbox subscriptions, I've never opened a box and detested it. The Gossip Girl box came and was a bit of a disappointment, but it wasn't anger inducing. This one almost is.

Later (in September X_X), I shall do another post with items that I like. This box is post-worthy in a not so good way. People usually complain about their boxes, and it was the same for this month. You wouldn't normally think much of the complaints, but in this case, it is totally justified.

1. Malin+Goetz: I like this brand, but will you look at the size of these packets? There is NOTHING in these I tell you. In addition, Sample Society had these as extras in their box a while back. Yes, there were even two of them. 

2. Mally Beauty Eyeliner: Swatched on my hand and it doesn't seem horrible, will test out throughout the week and give an update at a later time.

3. uniqONE spray mask: They are trying to kill us! This puny thing is not to be taken lightly. We all know that when a spray pump is new, it doesn't dispense a full spray until you pump it a while right? Even with a tiny spritz onto my hair, it was like the world ended. This stuff smells horrible! It's like someone took those laundry sheets and shoved it up your nose. There was a perfume that I said smelled like Febreeze a while back. This is probably made by the same people. Even if someone could tolerate it enough to spray their whole head, everyone around them would faint and die. How many people had to have damaged olfactory senses for us to receive this product? Straight into the garbage.

4. Whish correcting gel- for sun damage etc. smells like coconuts. Another item with a strong smell. It's not terrible in of itself, but this is not a scent that can be tolerated all day

5. Whish deodorant wipes: wow.

Such a sad box. The one thing that may or may not be useful is the eyeliner. Worst box ever.

Bring you better news next time!

***The below is a slice of life rant to continue with the theme of an upset post***

     I officially dislike police officers- the ones that sit on the side of the road waiting to catch people. I'm sure some of you have police officers as your family members, and surely they are the best of people. Just think of this rant as something for the other ones.

     Their job is to serve and protect.. themselves. Maybe it's me, but the police are rarely there for my benefit. Last time I got pulled over in my own town for no reason, and was questioned like a suspicious person. The policeman's attitude was rude, and you could tell he was trying to get me for not having my drivers license, insurance, or registration (had them all, thank goodness). He then continued questioning in a rude tone, asking if I had any tickets etc (answer is no). All the while, he was checking my car out inside and out. The reason is that it was an older car from the '90s and had been hit on one side by a deer (I wasn't driving), and the other side by a teenage driver who backed into my care while it was parked. The rim was also missing from one wheel (also not my fault). He actually went back to check my history in his car. When he came back, unsatisfied, he tried to get me on texting. My phone wasn't even in the car with me that day. 

     This past weekend, I got pulled over coming back from a meeting with friends. An officer walked up with a puffed out chest and introduced himself as "Sergeant blah blah blah". He then wrote me a ticket for having the wrong license plates. The car in the above story broke down, and I had to get a new one, but hadn't had time to put the new plates on. I even had the new plates with me in the car and showed him, but he didn't care. Sure, 2 weeks may seem like it's long enough to find time to change the plates. PEOPLE FORGET. I've been crazy busy this past month, working late, working early etc. There's so many things to take care of. I don't even have time to update my blog for crying out loud! It was my first offense for anything (never had a speeding ticket etc), so he should have let me off with a warning. My friend told me I should have cried. It just wasn't in me. I'm not the type to waste tears on those jerks who don't deserve it. Instead, my fist was trying to get the rest of me arrested. You want to know the real reason why that ticket was issued? It wasn't about safety, or justice, or any bullsh*t like that. It's because I live in a rich town (in the not rich area), and drive a new car (because the old one above broke down- can't win!). His ears literally perked up when he heard where I was from, and his heart started dancing for joy singing, "MONAAAAYYYYY". I seriously hope his conscience beats him up for a good month. People like that who profile and pick on people are so unrespectable. Then this jerk had the gall to say to me, "If this were, uh, a more dangerous neighborhood, then you could've been pulled over at gunpoint because you look like a car thief." Is that even necessary to say? What? You want to scare me straight or something? Why are you treating an average lower income citizen like a criminal? Glad you're getting comfortable in your big boy britches. That's not even all. I was trying to read this blasted ticket and see what it was about, but the jerk did one of those loud siren beep things to hurry me along- so he could follow me like the creeper he is.

     Didn't we all love police officers when we were young? Didn't we think that they were the bearers of justice and fought for what's right? Another childhood dream flushed down the toilet. Welcome to the real world where power hungry beings do anything to increase their own profit. When I went to pay that ticket online, there was an additional $2 convenience charge. You'd think they'd take $2 off for making things easier for them. 

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Birchbox's New Site

Got several emails saying to check out the new BB site, and just really felt the need to do a quick post and put my 2 cents out there (not that they're needed).

1. Not a fan of the new color scheme- It must've been strange to have a girl and guy site with separate colors, but black/gray?? seriously?? What part of that says "FUN"? Sophisticated maybe, but mostly boring.

2. The new layout is interesting- it seems overly complicated in some places (*cough* front page *cough), but only time and user usage will tell how the split women men dropdowns function irl.

3. The new logo is hideous- I'm with all those who were fond of the trademark birch stripes. This new B with a diamond in the middle looks so much LESS sophisticated than the previous logo. The logo before looks like it actually took more time and effort compared to this new one. And for some reason the recurring thought in my head is "it's fat". The ratio of positive to negative space is off. It actually doesn't look too bad on the boxes and in the green, but the black "B" that's used as an avatar and on top of browser tabs is terrible.

4. We miss the pink!- that was what said "fun" before. A search around the new site reveals that the only pink left is on images of the products themselves. I should say that I am not a pink lover, but it was what really gave BB the "light", "carefree", and "young" feel. It makes you feel like you can still experiment with different things and be quirky about it- that there's no harm in trying out different things. A look at the new site makes me feel constricted, and, yes it must be said- OLD. It now feels like a conservative society where all deviations are shunned.

One thing that I DO really like is the more detailed profile questions. Hopefully they will lead to some good changes.

I'm pretty sure when I first looked at the site, it was different from what it looks like now (it looks better now). I seem to recall that hideous B logo there previously.

Well, we shall see.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Review: Lip Pencils

     After trying out mirenesse's lip color pencil, I finally gave those previously ignored lip pencils another look.

Overall impressions:

mireness- absolutely smooth, and highly pigmented. Slight vanilla scent.
BITE- slighty drying, which is expected of matte pencils
NARS- the satin formula is not drying

One odd thing to note is the lid for BITE's Madeira. It tapers at the top, causing the lid to slip off the pencil easily.

Madeira is basically what I would use for a nude color. It tones down my heavily pigmented lips.

NARS's Biscayne Park is also a nude-ish color. It is, however a bit on the warm side. I don't think this is a color that I will be wearing a lot. It would work excellent for one of those photoshoots where you are looking for a more natural look (but not completely nude)

BITE Cava- a lipstick that has a hint of lilac in it. It makes me look like a zombie (grayed out) or someone who just rose from the dead. On someone else with the right skin tone, it could look stunning.

mirenesse's Glossy Kiss in Quick kiss is definitely a head turning color. It's so bright someone would spot you from across the room. Love the formula, will be looking for another color.

BITE Pomegranate- another one of those colors that would let someone spot you from across the room. This almost seemed too bright, so I hesitated and bought Tannin as well. Tannin is cooler and slightly darker. I wore Pomegranate to go out with friends- the other bloggers were right, you will HAVE to get this shade. Be careful though. Since this is an intense red, it can get pretty messy. Pull out all the tricks in your bag to keep this one on. It wore off as I was eating, and made me look like a crazy clown. After a couple hours, it also becomes a bit drying. 

Try them out and tell me how you like them!

P.S. Have you looked and just stared at yourself in the mirror lately? I did that, and was surprised with how different I look. Almost don't recognize myself anymore.

Birchbox/ Sample Society All Stars!

Still alive! Typed in the wrong web address and thought they deleted the blog X_X.

     Instead of going through each box that I've missed reviewing and monotonously typing out thoughts on each product, I'm going to just briefly go over products that I really liked (enough to purchase).

     Unfortunately, a rummage through my box of samples only turned up three items.

Supergoop Eye Cream- not fond of the brand name. Somehow the idea of slathering "goop" on my body is not appealing. This eye cream is not sticky and doesn't make you feel like you're putting suncreen on around your eyes. It has spf37 which should give you enough coverage for a gently sunny stroll outside. And who doesn't like things that say "anti-aging"? This is a Birchbox find.

Butter London Nail Polish: Blagger- A lovely full sized product from Sample Society. It dries to a slightly darker, more toned down blue. Personally, the bright eye catching blue is more appealing, but this would be good for those who still want to seem semi-professional.

mirenesse Glossy Kiss: #7 Quick Kiss- An extremely pigmented lip color pencil. I'm in love with the formula and the pigmentation. The color is a bit on the orange side, but this is something I'm looking to pick up in a different shade. It has a slight vanilla scent. Also a Birchbox find.

A review of various lip color pencils is soon to follow- yes, for real. They've been swatched, photographed, labeled, and are ready to go. Since I have something to do now, I will post them sometime tonight!

See you then!

P.S. This was one other sample I got. Like the size of it, not so much the color. Looks like a self tanner experiment gone wrong. Guess the color can't adjust that much.