Thursday, March 08, 2012

Beauty Bar + Allure Sample Society Box: March 2012

It's here! You may notice the new banner that I have up in the right sidebar. Trust me, I would not promote something that I don't like (and have you seen other banners here before?) I'd heard rumors of this box starting up and hastened to subscribe. Mainly because they paired with Allure and I figured they wouldn't just rip people off. And considering Allure's pretty big I also figured they would have planned things better so that random kinks wouldn't happen- like MyGlam which I was also considering (more at the bottom).

Sample Society boxes were to start shipping March 5th, but mine shipped March 6th and I got it a day after. Life has been kind of on the downside for me recently =/ so this was a great pick me up surprise. Please send many prayers my way.

And, I want to note that today I got called "Chunky" by a woman twice my size. I'm a size 2 (just barely hanging on, but nonetheless). It probably is just extra offensive because a week ago someone told me I look like a 6. Yes, I still haven't gotten over it ~.~. Looking bigger than you are is never a good thing- if you're asking, always go a size or two down of what you're thinking. No I never ask for people's opinions on my size. These just came out of the blue.

ALSO! Talk about small blessings! I won the random Missha Survey drawing! Luckily I chose #13 as my BB cream color because that's the one I wanted to sample (and I get that and the Boomer as a gift- ~$55 value). The #13 sample I was planning on snagging on ebay somehow became unavailable T_T. So expect a quick review on those in a month or so. This is like the third thing I've ever won in my life. #1: half a cake in an elementary school cakewalk. #2: a cheap Pepsi cup from the school dining hall. This is a considerably more valueable win =D.


Beauty Bar + Allure: Sample Society March 2012 Box!

What is it?: This is a sample subscription box like ones that have been released previously (Birchbox, MyGlam, Luxebox in Canada etc). You pay $15 (a bit pricier) a month +$1 for me (they charged me tax ~.~ which I was not aware of before: I guess technically it's supposed to be $1.05 but why charge us tax at all, it's not like we can get these boxes in a store! So $16 a month for me) and they send you a box of 5 deluxe samples to try.

Sample Society Box features some nice brands you can check out at

Why do you want it?: It exposes you to brands and products that you might not go out and try yourself, and gives you enough of the product so that you can really get a feel for it.


I had quite a time prying open the first box. The glued on flaps just did not want to come off, lol. Cute little design on the side. I kind of wish it didn't note that it's from just so if other members of this household get their hands on it it won't be so obvious.

Surprise surprise it's another box! This one is quite sturdy and nice. The lettering is done in silver.

And silver sparkly tissue paper! How elegant =D.

Comes with products and a little brochure on March tips from beauty experts with your $15 off $50 purchase code. This can also be found online at

The Goods:
  • Fekkai Advanced Brilliant Glossing Cream with Encapsulated Shine-Release Complex- Olive Oil: Says to apply pea size to damp or dry hair.
    I left pic full size so click to see the shimmers on my hand. If it pops up in the blogger picture viewer thing- close out, right click the picture, open in new tab/ window, and magnify it (click it) to really see the shimmers.
      • To be honest I'm not sure exactly what this is. Glossing Cream. I thought it may be similar to leave in conditioner. It supposedly shines hair and fights frizz, is safe for color treated hair.
      • Lovely light scent- fruity-floral thing going on, although it is missing depth in its scent and has that "hollow" scent problem: probably not noticeable to most.
      • Hair does feel silkier- it actually is such a "slippery" product that my hands feel slippery after applying it onto my hair. It DOESN'T give a greasy hair feel or effect if you use as directed, but use too much and you could end up looking like you haven't washed your hair.
      • The shine is most likely a result of the shimmer in the product- my hands look like they have a bajillion microglitters. 
      • Overall I LIKE this. It's fun and I'm glad I got to try it out. I may not buy the full size because it doesn't seem like something I really need. Perhaps I'll change my mind by the end of this huge sample
      • *EDIT* I dyed my hair (and the door) again, and look what happened. Turned into a complete frizzball. Hurried to slap some water on it which did tame the majority, but my goodness. Then I remembered my friend here and gave it a try. Majority of the stray hairs are under control, and you do see the shine- which hopefully won't turn into a grease effect. 
      • I may purchase another small one after going through this one- just for those odd times like the above mentioned (don't want a big one to clutter up space). Also great for bad hair days with rain.
      • Full size is 4 oz for $22.50. This is a 1.6 oz sample. So $9 worth ( is selling for $9 and Amazon is selling the 1.6oz for $11.27). They do have a 7oz one on I think.
  • Oscar de La Renta Espirt d'Oscar Deluxe Mini-Rollerball Floral-oriental fragrance which is a modern interpretation of Oscar de la Renta’s signature scent,  Inspired by the chic and sophisticated women of today.
      • Top Notes: Sicilian lemon, bergamot and citron. Middle notes: Egyptian jasmine, orange blossom and tuberose. Base notes: musk, heliotrope, tonka and vetiver. 
      • Bear with me, as I'm not good at describing scents. I don't smell ANYTHING floral about this. Definitely smell all the other stuff. Reminds me of baby powder and alcohol swabs. It's a warm and yet sharp scent (most likely from the citrus). Definitely smelled something similar on other women walking about daily. I think I used a really yummy scented Bergamot and Jasmine body wash (my grandmother's, haha ^^;;), but this was not that yummy scent -__-. Then again I dislike straight up citrus (it should be muted), so that's probably the issue here. All the top notes. If I try really hard I think I can smell the orange blossom.
      • I looked up Bergamot for fun and learned that "One hundred bergamot oranges will yield about three ounces of bergamot oil". So sad T_T. What do they do with the fruit after it's skinned? Also bergamot peel is used in aromatherapy to treat depression and as a digestive aid according to Wiki. Maybe I should keep this around to see how my digestion is. I recommend looking Bergamot up, it's quite enlightening. 
      • Scent lingers (staying power) and can be overwhelming if you apply too much. Over the course of 5 hours, the scent toned down to a much "warmer", less sharp scent. It might just be me though.
      • Love the rollerball application and that it's a decent sized sample that will last a while. Especially today when most places are giving puny samples away. Perfect for sticking in your bag for on the go touchups. Love the pink interior of the box.
      • I was very excited to see what the scent would be. Unfortunately it's not for me (more of a non citrus fruity floral person), but I think this is something many other older women will enjoy. It's really more of a personal opinion type of thing. Good staying power though.
      • *EDIT* So I thought I'd try again. It smelled like baby wipes when first applied. This time I tried waving and rubbing off the top notes. Don't know if it did anything, but what I do know is that a few minutes later I can now envision a chic, sophisticated woman! A bit of an edge, with a little sweetness coming through. Guys, I'm loving it X_X. Hopefully it's not that I'm just getting used to it, lol. The scent is much gentler now. One thing is for sure, just one swipe with the rollerball. If I do wear this out, it'll be for a sophisticated evening. And I'll put it on well before I want others to smell it ;). 
      • I changed my mind about it, but it's still not something I'd purchase.
      • 3.4 oz full sized retails for $98. 1.7 oz is $78. The sample is .1 fl oz. Worth $2.88-4.59.
  • Skyn Iceland icelandic Eye Relief Pen: "Delivers immediate relief to delicate under-eye skin that's most vulnerable to the effects of stress. The look of puffiness and dark circles is minimized while fine lines appear softer. The result? Your eye area is brightened for a refreshed and wide-awake look." Dab cream gently on under-eye area. A slight cooling sensation is normal.
      • Interestingly the tip part is soft and flexible, the back twists to dispense product. I kept turning and turning but nothing was coming out which left me like ???? Finally the product did dispense though. Hint: twist clockwise a lot of times, lol.
      • Smells like other eye creams- funky. Kind of herbally, the scent is very light though.
      • At first I felt none of this "cooling sensation" but soon I did. It's not so much on the skin where I applied but on my eyeballs? I almost feel like it's about to start stinging, but it's not. It goes away after a minute or so.
      • Cream is like a slightly thicker lotion but not very thick like some eye creams A little greasy with thicker application. It absorbed right into my dry skin with light application, and with thicker application eventually absorbed in overnight.
      • I noticed that it does the funny thing that other eye creams do as well. If you apply a bit heavier and wait for it to dry, you can actually rub the product and it will pill off. Which I have always thought was a weird thing- are you really absorbing or sitting on top?? X_X
      • I thought this was a long term eye cream deal, but it says for immediate relief. I tried to take pictures again, but again not working. I personally thought I might have seen my circles get better on the outside part (inside was just as blue), but I don't know. I took pictures and they were no different. And I still had double bags. =/
      • *EDIT* I tried this product again, and this time I did feel the cooling sensation (~1 min) where I applied (and a bit on the eyeballs as well). It seems I may not have applied enough the first time. I'm also now convinced that I'm not going crazy- my circles do look better towards the outside of my eyes. Bags weren't really helped much.
      • The effect is minimal for me, but I can see where this would come in handy for summer.
      • LIKE it, but probably will not purchase. At least not as of this moment *will continue testing at various points*
      • Sample is full size retailing for $20.
  •  Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Deluxe Sample This rice-based enzyme powder activates upon contact with water, releasing Papain, Salicylic Acid and Rice Actives to accelerate cell renewal, while Bearberry, Aspergillus, Grapefruit, Licorice, Green Tea, Ginkgo and Colloidal Oatmeal combine for the most beneficial effects.
      • You mix the powder with water to make a paste and massage on face for 1 minute.
      • Faint citrus smell. 
      • Wasn't sure the powder to water ratio, so I just went with what I thought "creamy" was.
      • Started out a little skeptical about how much exfoliation this was going to do. It's so nice O_O! My skin feels like it did after the REN peel- I can't stop touching it. The  dryer tougher parts of skin are still dry and rough, but the cheeks, chin, and etc feel just amazing. And to think it's a daily microfoliant! So I can have this nice skin everyday? Well I'll be darned.
      • I WILL BE BUYING THIS. Thank goodness for $15 off.
      • Full size 2.6 oz $40. Sample size .45 oz. Worth $6.92.
      • I stuck it in my medicine cabinet, and now I really look like a product junkie -_- 
  • REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Peel Mask: A potent bio active peel mask designed to renew the complexion, reduce the appearance of fine lines and dramatically improve skin tone. 
    • Removes dead skin cells to renew the complexion
    • Skin looks brighter, healthier, more radiant
    • Helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
    • Combats congestion, blackheads and blemishes
    • Apply to face and neck, avoiding eye area. Leave for 10 min. Wipe off mask with damp cloth. Rinse skin with warm water. Slight tingling may occur. Use weekly.


      • This is one that I've heard good reviews about and was especially looking forward to trying. I'm beginning to develop microwrinkles so we'll see what happens.
      • It comes out of the tube resembling peach jam. some pulp/ fiber deal going on. Strange enough everything smooths out to clear looking. It even smells a bit like peach jam? But with some other not so pleasant aromas. The texture is like how a cold cream goes on- but clear.

      • Slight tingling on open wounds (just tiny break in the skin). Feel slight tingling all over too, but don't know if that's the result of it working, or drying, lol.
      • WOW! At first I still felt some rough skin while washing the product off so I didn't think it did anything, but once my face was dry- soooo smooth (some rougher areas of skin are still rough though). Also noticed a "brighter" quality in my skin. Don't know if it faded scars any yet, or helped any wrinkles. I haphazardly applied this product on some rough areas of my neck and after washing you can definitely tell where I applied and where I didn't o_O. The hand I used for application and to wash the product off was even much softer. The next day, my face is still smooth but not AS smooth as the night before and my hand has resumed its texture. I hope it's really peeling something and not just acting like a lotion, lol. Tried to take before and after pictures but it just didn't work out- lighting kept throwing everything off.
      • I applied the product for 15 min. I read that some people left it on for 20 min without adverse reactions, and since my skin needs a bit more work (and there's only so much of the product!) I left it for a bit longer. It seemed ok.
      • Still a couple more uses left so we'll see if there's any difference after I'm done. 
      • Full size 1.7 oz $55. Sample size .5 fl oz worth $16.18.
Overall: Total box value ~$54.98- $56.69.

  • VALUE: Obviously I'm super happy with the value of the box considering I only paid. $16. $5 probably went into packaging and shipping.
  • APPEARANCE: I really like the silver accents. And the whole "Society" bit just makes me feel like I'm part of some secret beauty cult.
  • ITEMS: Originally I was a bit disappointed to find that it was mostly skincare items since I prefer things that I can see immediate changes with. BUT I'm excited to try out all these items and the ones I have tried are quite fun. Verdict? Pretty darn happy. If only you could see how wide my grin is. And really, isn't this what it's all about? Trying out things that you would have never touched otherwise. If you set this box out for $15 at some random store I would not pick it up. At $10 I might consider it but even then it's iffy. So good thing for subscription boxes XD.
  • FAVORITES: The REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Peel Mask & Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. Today, my face looks dewy. Not because of oil, but because it's just so darn smooth now light reflects like nobody's business.
  • Great sizes for using the products on the go!
  • I figured the first box had to be something good for Sample Society to even start making a name for itself in this world already cluttering up with subscription boxes. I'm glad I took the plunge and can't wait for next month! In reality I wish I could get a box every WEEK, but I can't afford it *sadness*


Skin Concerns: Dullness; Lines, wrinkles, aging; Dark Spots, uneven tone; Blemishes and breakouts; Sun Damage. Yep, a lot going on here.

Top Concern: Dark Spots, uneven tone

Dry Skin

Makeup Products I Love: Foundation/Concealers, Lip stick/gloss/shine, Mascara, Blush, Eyeshadow, Eyeliner, Nail polish. Probably quicker to tell you which I don't care about.

Biggest Challenge: Lip stick/gloss/shine. Not really. More like I love these especially but challenge to get the right product.

Hair: Breakage, split ends, color fading

Result I want most from hair products: Volume; better hold less frizz

Favorite Scents: Fresh (clean, fruit); Floral

Just looking at the profile it seems like they tried their best to match the skin and scent criteria.

Join the Fun!

Before you say anything, no they didn't pay me or give me anything for free at all. Even though I'm heavily endorsing this, it's just because I think it's a great thing.

Sample Society is new, but it's already sold out  of subscriptions. I suggest putting in your email for the waiting list if you even remotely think you may want to join. Go to and click on "Sample Society" link under the dark navigation bar. While you wait for it to open for subscriptions you can ponder it some more.

When you sign up please use my Referral Code "JMANGO" (without quotes): NOT because either of us will get rewards (we won't), but because they will donate $5 to charity! What a great way to make the most out of your purchase, all it takes is you copy pasting the extra bit and you can help others in need as well.

It is set so that they will donate $5 each time you use my referral code on each of their six sites (,,,,, = total of $30 possible donations) for your first purchase. The money will be split across their 5 charities by default, but you can set it to distribute the funds to just the one charity of your choosing. I left mine to default because I feel like these are all great causes.

You set up a beauty profile- their FAQ notes that the boxes are NOT customized yet.
Their FAQ also notes that you can't see the products beforehand BUT YOU CAN. They list the products under your tracking information in the email, and after your box is mailed you can see pictures of the products in your Dashboard as well. I peeked.

It does have a reward: Basically you get $15 off a $50 Beauty Bar purchase each month if your order includes at least ONE item that you sampled in your box that month. Isn't that great?! And I think it's Free Shipping with $25 purchase for new customers. So that $55 REN face peel would still be a painful $40, but less painful than $55.

HURRY! XD I can't wait until you all get your boxes so we can share thoughts!

What's the Story? aka. How did I end up with the Sample Society Box

I'd originally been looking into Birchbox, then people whispered that MyGlam was better if you want makeup (and I was all over that). But it seems like MyGlam gives some drugstore type of cosmetics as well (I don't mind if they're good, but my recent experiences has told me to be picky with them) and isn't as interesting (I'm subscribing for the novelty of it all!). They included a freeman mask for one box- my last experience with a freeman mask left my eyes burning even though the product was two inches away (and yes I did test multiple times to confirm). So until I see some better boxes there (and the kinks-shipping/charging/relabeling issues?- worked out) I'll be holding off (the makeup bags are super cute though >_>).  well I finally got off the waiting list after a month. I had gotten a 3 month gift subscription for a friend back when they weren't so hot that there was a waiting list. By the time I decided to take the 1 year plunge I had to wait. But good thing I did. Poking around obsessively online showed that the boxes sometimes are just not that stellar. They look like things I'd be happier getting at $5 instead of $10. But some months had great items from brands such as NARS, Laura Mercier, Stila, and even the Beauty Blender. So when my invite came, I hesitated, but thought what the hey, I've come so far. EXCEPT I opted for the Monthly instead so I can cancel if needed.

What is Birchbox? It is a $10/ month subscription box of 4-5 high end samples. And supposedly customized to your beauty profile.

I still think it's a fun concept, so if you're thinking of joining, then please use my Referral LINK <--*Click*. This one does give some reward points- which help me to obtain items on their site a little cheaper--> which is good for you because I can review more things ;D. Win-Win. Thanks bunches ahead of time~!

While all of the above was going on...
I was reading about a new up and coming box called Sample Society. It sounded good because of the collab with Allure (hoping they can introduce us to some hot items >.<). Within an hour I was desperately trying to get in. Of course they would be sold out of subscriptions. But then I was desperately trying to force my way through. Even found something that claimed to have a "Back door" way of getting the system to allow you in. Nothing was working and I left dejected. The next day I kept trying- nothing but error messages. Meanwhile I was panicking. I finally gave up. THEN a surprise came a week or two later, email about my order, what order?? I checked my Beauty Bar account and what is this I have a box?? How?? When?? I don't know. Somewhere in the 20+ attempts something went right. And that, my friends, is how I ended up with a box. Now I just have to make sure it didn't charge my credit card 20x by accident as well. =P

Hurry and sign up! Can't wait to discuss boxes with you all. When my Birchbox comes you can expect a review on that as well.


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