Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Beauty Bar's Sample Society

To celebrate Spa Week, we're gonna bring you a little extra beauty courtesy of Beauty Bar's Sample Society. You all know I'm obsessed with Birchbox, and I've become suspicious of copycats, but I think Sample Society is a winner. If you're familiar with Birchbox, you'll know how the basics of Sample Society work, but there are a few differences. First off, Sample Society is $15 per month. For those $15 you get 5 samples from high end brands, a code for $15 off a purchase of $50 or more that includes at least one item from your box (code is good for 60 days!), expert beauty advice that comes with each box, and a one-year subscription to Allure magazine.

For the time being, there are no personalized boxes, everyone gets the same one every month. You can cancel at any time, and there's an easy to use website dashboard where you can make changes to your account, review your boxes and browse other goodies available from Beauty Bar.

And now for the question of the (Spa) week, what's in the box....?

Oscar Blandi Jasmine Oil - .50 oz, $16 or 1.69 oz, $35
A combination of almond oil, vitamin E and other goodies to help keep your hair shiny and smooth. I'm a big fan of these hair oil elixirs, and the Oscar Blandi Jasmine Oil is niiiice. You just need a tiny amount (just a few drops) rubbed into your damp hair before blow drying.  You can also use it before flat ironing to get some extra shine and keep hair smooth and silky. My hair was shampoo hair model perfect afterward and no pesky fly aways!

Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel - 5oz, $26
I love Boscia, so I was really happy to a see them among my samples. The Purifying Cleansing Gel works for all skin types and contains botanical amino acids to help protect your skin even after washing. I used it with my Clarisonic, and oooh, ladies! My skin felt smooth and soft without any trace of tightness or dryness. Added bonus, for those of you looking for simpler, less irritating goodies - the Boscia cleanser is free of sulfates, parabens, dyes and synthetic fragrances. Work it out, my natural beauties.

By Terry Creme De Rose Soin Nutri-Lift Reconfortant - 1.01 oz, $99
The Creme de Rose is for normal to dry skin, and is supposed to nourish and smooth your skin, while softening lines and wrinkles. You apply it daily over any skin serums you might use. Since it's just a small sample, it's hard to say if any of these claims are true, but I can tell you it smells divine. My skin did feel nice and smooth after using it, but it's a bit pricey for my needs right now.

Murad Hybrids Skin Perfecting Primer Acne & Shine Control - 1 oz, $35
Murad's Skin Perfecting primer contains salicylic acid to help zap out blemishes and prevent future breakouts. Salicylic acid can be too harsh for some people, so if your skin can't handle it, it might not be for you. The product will match up with your skin once you apply it, so it shouldn't be noticeable. I did find it to be a little too drying for me, it flaked in some areas and drove me crazy. I think it would work best on oily skin, or in oily spots. It is nice that there's no need to figure out which color will match your skin tone, science figures that out for you. YAY!

DDF Amplifying Elixir - 1.7 oz, $63
Let's get the stinky elephant in the room out of the way right away. DDF Amplifying Elixir smells weird. I looked up other reviews and saw that it was a recurring issue many people brought up. One person described it as burning rubber tires, so I was scared. While there's a slightly odd odor, it's not as bad as I was frightened into believing. It kind of smells like bland hotel soap, and also kind of like an empty aspirin bottle. Smell aside, it works for all skin types, and is a moisture amplifier - that means it'll help boost the hydrating powers of other products and keep your skin nice and moisturized. A lot of the reviews I read said people noticed an improvement in their skin after regular use, so there you go. Clinique also makes a moisture booster called Moisture Surge that works the same way. P.S. Clinique also makes a Moisture Surge tinted moisturizer with SPF for about 1/3 of the price of DDF.

That's it, Boos! Overall, I'm really happy with Sample Society, the products are all from higher end brands. Some of the products I may not have tried because the price points were too high, so this is a great way to try something out without paying for a full price size. It is $5 more than Birchbox, but you do get a $15 credit on anything over $50 (it must include at least one item from your box) which is good for 60 days. So if you find something you like, boom, instant savings!

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