Monday, August 3, 2015

Fave Five: Things to do With All Those Beauty Box Samples

I have only received five beauty boxes (two Birchbox, two ipsy, and one Walmart beauty box), and I'm already feeling a little overrun by beauty samples.  I've loved some of the samples.  I've disliked a few.  I've been apathetic about others.  In any case, I need to divest myself of some of the samples before I'm buried in an avalanche of makeup.  The pile is already starting to get out of control.

Here are five ways I've thought of to share the love and keep my cabinets from being overwhelmed:
  1. Share with Friends: As I try products, I think about the other people in my life who might enjoy them. When I'm done sampling, I share.  I gave BB and CC creams to a friend who expressed an interest in trying those and another cleanser to a friend who liked the Vasanti cleanser I tried last month.  
  2. Donate to a Charity: Homeless shelters, battered women's shelters, and other charities have a need for toiletries.  Imagine it could brighten another woman's day to get a really nice set of toiletries at a hard time in her life.  It's a little thing, but little things matter, too. 
  3. Make a Guest Toiletry Stash: Want to impress your overnight guests?  Offer them a selection of toiletries for their visit.  Who doesn't love pawing through the toiletries at a hotel?  
  4. Make an Emergency Kit: An emergency kit in your desk drawer can help you look your best in a flash.  Mine has a subtle Blistex Lip Vibrance Lip Protectant**, a bold Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain, the Neutrogena mascara sample from the Summer Walmart beauty box, the Amika Un.Done Texture Spray from the July Birchbox, and a tube of C.O. Bigelow Chapped Hands Remedy (gifted by my friend Natalie), all tucked into the makeup bag from my June ipsy Glam Bag.  
    In case of beauty emergency, open bag.
  5. Save for Travel: Samples you like can be saved for travel.  Small sizes mean less space in your luggage, and quality products can make travel feel even more special.  
Birchbox and ipsy each have 5 products per month, and it is probably a reasonable goal to average one product per month that fits into each category.  Once my emergency kit is full, I can make them for friends.  Once my travel stash is full, I can donate more to people in need.

No one wants used, contaminated products, so, if you may not keep your samples, make sure you keep them clean.  Use cotton swabs for lipsticks and eyeshadows, and cotton balls for blush and powder.  Eye-liners are probably not ideal for re-giving.  

*This post contains referral links.  If you sign up for Birchbox or ipsy through the links I may receive points towards future purchases.  This is not a sponsored post.

**This post contains Amazon affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through those links, I will receive a small commission.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Walmart Beauty: No Frills, But Thrills?

I've gone a little mad for beauty boxes, and, though I was skeptical, I couldn't resist the siren call of Walmart's attempt at the market.  It's only $5.  You really can't go too far wrong for $5.  Walmart beauty boxes are delivered quarterly, with the products tailored to the season (spring, summer, fall, and winter).  I received the Summer 2015 box.
Not surprisingly, the Walmart box did not contain anything earth shaking.  This is my first beauty box that contained all products I recognized.  I know, I'm a cretin.  I was surprised, though, by the quantity and quality of the products that were in the box.  For $5 I received 10 beauty samples and two coupons.

Here's what I got:

  • Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick (plus $1 coupon)
  • Beach Blonde Sea Waves Sea Salt Spray
  • One Direction You & I Eau de Parfum
  • Nivea Soft Moisturizing Creme
  • Clean Scalp & Hair Therapy Nourishing Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
  • Aveeno protect + hydrate lotion sunscreen (plus $2 coupon)
  • Jergens Natural Glow self-tanner
  • Neutrogena healthy volume mascara
  • Neutrogena Healthy Skin Boosters facial cleanser
  • Ken Paves You Are Beautiful Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner
I'm not going to review all of these products.  They are easy access, so if you want to try them, you probably can.

  • The Revlon lipstick is very creamy and pigmented, but it is prone to smearing and wearing off quickly.  The color "Gladiolus" is bold and pretty, but I'm too inattentive to my lipstick to wear that needs maintenance.  This one goes in the "give away" pile.
  • The Beach Blonde sea salt spray made me laugh.  All the beauty boxes were in on the idea that salt spray is the official hair product of summer.
  • I'm slightly ashamed to admit that I really like the scent of the One Direction perfume.  What am I, a 12 year old girl?  It is lightly floral without being cloying.  
  • The Nivea Soft cream will be a great addition to my purse.  It can be used on face, body, and hands. so it is the perfect cream to have in a pinch.
  • The Clear Shampoo, Aveeno sunscreen, Neutrogena cleanser, Neutrogena mascara, and Ken Paves shampoo and conditioner will be great for travel or guests, but the Jergens self-tanner may be a give-away.  I'm leery of self-tanners after too many streaky experiences.  
These products are more the workhorses of the beauty world, the unsung heros. They are no-frills.  No-frills doesn't mean bad, and I am very happy with this box.  I'm thrilled.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Boldly Go

The theme for the July Birchbox is "Go Bold."  That's just a variation of Star Trek's imperative to "boldly go," right?  That I can do.

Here's what came in my July Birchbox:
  • Jouer Daily Clarifying Treatment Oil: The instructions that came with the Jouer Daily Clarifying Treatment Oil claim that it will hydrate, even, and clarify skin.  I've only used it once, so I can't speak to long-term use, but it did go on smoothly and didn't make my skin greasy (as you can see below).  
  • SuperGoop Daily Correct CC Cream: Check out the itty bitty sample below.  It may not be the smallest sample- the Jouer oil has a smaller volume- but it probably contains fewer uses than any other non-single-use product I've received.  Sample size aside, it is just an ok CC cream.  After the luxurious texture, and high wearibility of last month's Marcelle BB Creme, the SuperGoop just doesn't stand up. It's not worse than a comparable Almay or E.L.F. product, but it's not better either.  
  • Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick: I'm mad for red lipstick.  I have a dozen similar long-wearing products.  That being said, I'm not completely behind the idea of matte lipstick.  The color is great- it's intense and vibrant- but matte lipstick seems to be pretty unforgiving.  Any little mistake really shows, and the texture is quite dry.  I will probably use this lipstick, but I would like it better with a more satin finish.  
  • Amika Un.Done Texture Spray: I wasn't sure what to make of texture spray... What does it do?  How to I use it?  News flash: it's hairspray.  It's nice hairspray.  It smells nice, and enhanced volume without my hair being crunchy, but it's hairspray.  
  • Key West Aloe Save a Tan: I don't have much of a tan right now.  I have spent too much time this summer working on the house, and not enough time lounging poolside.  I can't attest to whether it will really help maintain a tan, but it is a nice summer lotion.  It is 80 percent aloe, but it absorbs into skin much more easily than a pure aloe product.  It also smells lovely- light and fresh and not too much for summer.  

July is another successful Birchbox.  I'm happy with the Jouer Daily Clarifying Treatment Oil, surprised by the Amika Un.Done Texture Spray, and satisfied with the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick.  There will be samples to keep and samples to share, and I'll have even more to enjoy next month.  

*This post contains referral links.  If you sign up for Birchbox or ipsy through the links I may receive points towards future purchases.  This is not a sponsored post.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Birchbox Bold

Birchbox knows how to make a woman happy.  How could I not be happy when I opened my July box to see this festive design.  Pretty!  The theme for the July box is Go Bold.  Don't mind if I do.

Inside the box continued to impress.

Here's what came in my July Birchbox.
  • Amika Un.Done Texture Spray
  • Key West Aloe Save a Tan
  • Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick
  • Jouer Daily Clarifying Treatment Oil
  • SuperGoop Daily Correct CC Cream
I'm especially excited about trying the Jouer Daily Clarifying Treatment Oil and the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick.  The oil comes in an itty bitty dropper bottle, and I'm intrigued by it, and I love bold lip color!  

Check back tomorrow (hopefully) for best highs and lows of this box!

*This post contains referral links.  If you sign up for Birchbox or ipsy through the links I may receive points towards future purchases.  This is not a sponsored post.