Tag Archives: sample society

Sample Society | June 2015


It has been brought to my attention that I am an over-explainer.  That I tend to go on and on and on about a subject until I am certain you know exactly what I am talking about, particularly in instruction-giving scenarios.  That because you are not me I cannot assume we are on the same page, and I will keep giving you information with backup supporting documents, links to click on and jazz hands until I’m satisfied.

I’ve never realized this before but thinking back, it is absolutely true.  Not one time have I ever backed out of a conversation with someone who blithely states they’ll call me later without me asking when exactly will this call come cuz I want to make sure I am available to talk as I have a dentist appointment at 3pm and then I will be driving all the way home which roughly takes 14.7 minutes and if my music is up I may not be able to hear the phone especially if I have forgotten to turn the ringer back on because as you know it is simply soooo RUDE to have the ringer on while you’re at the dentist and you have a mouth full of sharp and pokey instruments.  Do you understand what I’m saying?  Here, let me explain it one more time to be sure …

Omg, who’s annoying?!  Here’s my Sample Society:

I think Sample Society is trying to kill me because the first two items are made of nightmares.  Not that I’m against trying new things or anything, but let’s do baby steps first.  Don’t go giving me a box full of scary bits and expect me dive head first.  One toe at a time please.  And maybe not even then.

First up is the St. Tropez Self Tan Express bronzing mousse.  I can count on one hand how many times I’ve self tanned.  It all started with an 8th grade field trip to an amusement park where I would be in shorts for an entire day.  I’ll admit I wasn’t an expert at self tanning or anything, but honestly how hard would it be to apply lotion for chrissakes?

Apparently, VERY.  I had to ride in a bus next to cute boys and mean girls for three whole hours, orange streaky legs in full view of everyone.  And to top it all off, I ate a chicken nugget on the way home that I swear wasn’t cooked all the way and spent the next 7 days waiting for the food poisoning to kick in.


What I’m trying to say is (again with the over-explaining) my relationship with self tanners got started in a rocky place and never quite recovered.  I have not tried the St. Tropez although the instructions are clear, concise and seem very easy.  You rub on your body, leave it for one hour for a natural, light glow (or longer for deeper, up to 3 hours max) and then rinse off.  Easy peasy.  My sister tried it and said she loved it.  The formula was very nice – not orange or streaky at all.  I’m sure I’ll find a way to eff it up, though.  Just ask me how that 3-ingredient no fail key lime pie I made back in 2006 turned out.  Did you know condensed milk and evaporated milk are two different things?  No, me neither.

To make matters worse, I got a pack of Completely Bare wax strips so I can rip the hair off my hoo hah all by myself from the comfort of my own bathroom.  Who’s excited?!  (#notme)  But I figured I have to try something, or else what is the point of this review?  Not sure how wax strips beat out self tanner for the thing I’d experiment with first; I admire my own bravery.

These wax strips are basically a gauze type with wax already on them.  You warm the strip between your hands for 30 seconds then peel them apart where you will have two strips ready to go.  Place one on the area to be waxed and massage it in the direction of the hair growth.  Hold skin taut and in one fluid motion, rip off the strip in the other direction.  Continue to use the strip until the entire wax area is covered in hair.

At this point, my upper lip is starting to sweat.  Instructions always sound so easy, but the last time I tried to inflict pain on myself, I ended up in the school bathroom, pale-faced and blue-lipped.  A Biology experiment gone horribly awry, let’s just say.  You can’t just hand someone (i.e., me) a lancet and tell them to stab their own finger with it.  Nobody needs to know their own blood type that bad.  I got an A for effort anyway.  Apparently, people feel sorry for you if you almost pass out.  There’s some knowledge you can take with you for the rest of your life if you’re interested.

But back to the wax strips.  I did as instructed and somehow managed to pull it off properly.  And surprisingly it worked, didn’t hurt as much as expected, and the results were very nice.  I’m not going to do it again or anything, but I’m not disappointed by any means.  One thing to note – in case someone out there is getting too excited – these strips aren’t not meant for full Brazilian waxing.  Only the right and left side of the bikini line.  I figure I’d better disclaim that in case someone gets sue happy.  I told you so.  If your vagina falls off, that’s on you.

Next is the Cotz Face Natural Skin Tone sunscreen.  I devoted an entire post to this sunscreen about a year ago, so kindly click here and read it.  I’m still loving it, still using it.  And as soon as I’m out of it, I’m buying it again.

Received the Lauren B. Beauty nail polish in the shade Polo Lounge Punch, a vibrant, bold purple fuchsia.  I absolutely loved this nail polish.  I’m sure you are wondering who or what has taken over my body, as that sentence has never been uttered by me on this blog for at least 18 months.  But this is honestly one of the prettiest colors ever.  And I can appreciate pretty things.  In fact, that’s how I have 18 order confirmations in my Inbox right now.  Don’t judge me.  DON’T DO IT.

Formula of the polish was okay – kind of thick.  First coat goes on normal, but to get it opaque it needs a second coat, which is thicker.  I had to wipe the excess off my brush while applying in order to not flood my nail.  However, you may be able to do one thick coat and get it opaque enough.  I’m not an expert nail polisher so I was being very careful and deliberate (or OCD as others might call it).  The end result was so pretty.  One of my favorite polishes – and it’s 5-free which means it’s not made with harmful chemicals.  Yay!

One item I will be regifting is the eSalon Perfect Ending leave in conditioner.  It’s made for color treated hair which I do not have.  Doesn’t mean I can’t use it, but I know my mom would appreciate it more.  This stuff detangles, fights frizz and reduces breakage which are all good things.  I suppose I could go ahead and use it – if I really wanted to.  But my collection of hair products is starting to overtake my bathroom, and since my hair routine is practically nil, I’ve having to be selective with what I keep.  I already own too many things that are on the verge of expiration.

Last product in the box is the e.l.f. Small Stipple Brush.  I’ve owned one of these brushes in the past and I really really liked it.  It’s a cheapie – only $3 – which may be why I had to toss mine (the ferrule came loose from the handle), but it is a cream blush’s BFF.  If you are scared of cream blush, I swear to you you need this brush.  It will have you applying it like a professional.  You take the brush and swirl it in your cream and dab it on your cheeks (in a stippling motion) then swirl the brush to blend like you would any powder.  It’s like magic, really.  I will never be without a brush like this.  I do own the Real Techniques stippling brush, which I like a lot, but it’s a bigger brush.  So it’s nice to have options.  It’s also nice to hoard makeup brushes.  I tend to do that.

Before we’re done, let’s have a word about Sample Society in general.  They sent out an email to let everyone know that June was their last box.  Starting in July, it will transition to the Allure Beauty Box – operated solely by Allure Magazine.  Not sure what this means in terms of value, but I’m good with change sometimes.  As long as it’s still $15 and they send me 5 items, I should have no problems.  And as long as they do not contract with Harvey Prince.  I own everything that man makes and honestly, I think Birchbox and Ipsy have already cornered that market to death.

Til next time, friends!

Sample Society | May 2015


I wake up in the middle of the night to my cat playing with my hair on the back of the pillow.  That’s kind of adorable although somewhat annoying at 4 a.m.  That’s also the best part of the story cuz the rest of it ends with me rolling my shoulder onto a couple of rock hard cat turds in my bed.  That is not a typo.  And definitely not cute.  Seriously, where did they come from – other than the obvious?  They were old and fossilized and weren’t there five hours prior.  Naturally, I’ve been obsessively checking WebMD in case I’m about to contract some cat poop exposure-related disease.  I mean, I’ve never had my head that close before.  I have no doubt I sniffed poop molecules straight into my brain.

On the bright side, here’s my Sample Society:

This is like my 4th can of the Avene thermal spring water.  It’s not that I don’t like it or anything, but it’s just water.  You can spray it on your face for a multiple of purposes.  To refresh, to tone, to set makeup.  Or maybe you are outside on a hot day and need a little pick me up.  In that case, Avene is your BFF.  I don’t know if I’m going to keep this particular can or not because I already have an unused one sitting on my bathroom counter giving me side-eye.  It’s been there about a year, so I don’t blame it one bit.

Dadgum Versace Eros Pour Femme perfume.  Every time I see a perfume in my box, I have to fight that narcoleptic urge.  However, I took a sniff for research purposes, and it smells really nice.  For those that would know what all this means, here’s the notes: lemon, bergamot, pomegranate, jasmine, peony, sandalwood, amber and musk.  Sounds pretty, but I don’t speak perfume.  Kind of like how I also don’t speak wine.  I’ve tried many wines that boast about its luscious peach or cherry notes, and I get all excited thinking I’m about to have the most delicious juice of my life!, but then take a sip and detect zero peach and zero cherry and 100% dry ass wine just like the last dry ass wine I tasted.  Wine has a very distinct flavor – it tastes EXACTLY LIKE WINE.  I suffer through it to look classy, but deep down I just want some Malibu rum.

How did we get here?  I dunno.

We’re on a roll now with the John Frieda 7 Day Volume In-Shower Treatment.  I used this for the sake of my people, and then promptly gave it away to a friend who loved it more than me.  It is a rather unique product though, so I give it points for effort.  You wash and conditioner you hair, then apply this gel and rinse out.  It’s supposed to give you a full week of volume even through a couple of washes.  The gel has something sticky in it that clings to your hair to make the volume and it’s water resistant.  I do find that some fascinating science.  Plus, it worked.  But because my hair is so fine and I get extremely irritated by texture that is not sleek and soft, I had to pass.  I could feel there was something in my hair – a slight dirty feeling although not as bad as some volumizers I’ve used in the past.  In fact, if I’m forced to pick a favorite, this one would be it.  Does that redeem it in any way?  Maybe.

Received the Julep lip gloss in the shade Graceful which is a very sheer pink.  This product was alright.  It wasn’t sticky, so that’s good.  But I wasn’t a fan of the color.  Too light for me.  My natural lips were darker than this lip gloss so you couldn’t see anything at all after applying.  And I couldn’t determine staying power because I couldn’t see the color.  Sounds like I’m whining, but I’m really not.  It was fine.  I’d wear it if I didn’t care about creating a “look.”  I’ll keep it for now.

My favorite item in the box was the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask.  It’s hard for me not to like a mask.  Masks (along with serums) are my favorite.  Especially the peel-off kind because they are oddly therapeutic (and safer than peeling off your own skin, sunburn-style).  This Laneige one isn’t peel-off, but instead a super lightweight gel that you wear while sleeping.  I wasn’t exactly sure how to use a sleeping mask since the masks I use are not appropriate for a side-sleeper like me.  But this one seems more like a moisturizer, as it does absorb, and when you wake up you have some definite soft, hydrated skin.  And upon further research, I learned that sleeping masks are designed to keep the moisture in your face from evaporating into the air overnight.  Basically, it’s magic.

The one thing I couldn’t figure out is if you’re supposed to use a regular moisturizer first, then right before bed apply the sleeping mask on top, or if the sleeping mask is considered your moisturizer.  I’ve used it both ways, and it does feel more hydrating when applied alongside a moisturizer.  The Laneige website says to apply it on top of your cleanser and emulsion, but emulsion isn’t a normal word to describe anything I’ve ever heard of.  I had to look it up because my OCD wouldn’t leave well enough alone – and discovered an emulsion is a moisturizer.  So there you have it.  You’ve learned something.  This blog is amazing.

Last item in the box is the Alterna Caviar heat protectant spray.  This may surprise you, but I’ve never used a heat protectant.  Out of all the hair products I don’t use, you’d think at least I’d own this one considering my hair regime consists of a hair dryer and flat iron and that’s it.  So I was alright getting this.  And I tell you what, I spritzed this generously all over my hair and absolutely NOTHING bad happened.  In fact, I think it made my hair better.  On two separate occasions, I even washed my hair and then skipped the flat iron because my ends looked so nice.  I don’t know if that’s a side effect of a heat protectant, but I swear it happened.  I’m about 97.8765% certain I’m buying the full size.  I may never flat iron my hair again.  You know, now that I own a heat protectant and everything.

So that’s it.  Hope everyone had a great day.  But if not, just remember how you could’ve slept in your bed curled up next to a big cat turd.  And suddenly, your day just got better.  You’re welcome.  As always, I’m here to serve.

Sample Society | April 2015


If you are going to have a wedding anniversary gift delivered in a box to my front porch, a heads-up would be nice.  Because, while I wasn’t expecting a box to be delivered that day, having one delivered and me losing track of what’s coming when wouldn’t be entirely out of the question.  In other words, I almost opened my own gift until a last second reprieve when I glanced at the label and saw it was not addressed to me.  Then I almost opened it anyway cuz we are MARRIED and what’s his is mine – except for bills; those are just his.

My point is – my husband bought me a beautiful blue and white diamond ring, and for once I was okay with it not being a Sephora gift card.  So two years down, 48 to go.  Fine by me.

Here’s my Sample Society:

Ahhh, more perfume.  If you could see my face right now, you would mistake me for sleeping.  Oh how I wish I got excited over perfume – opening these dang boxes would be more fun I’ll tell you that.  But in an effort of fairness, I smelled this Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream and it’s pretty nice.  Notes are blackberry, grapefruit, pear, jasmine (et cetera).  Sephora says the style is ethereal, free-spirited and luminous, whatever that mean.  If I cared enough, I’d be spritzing this on right about now.  But since I don’t, I’ve put it aside to be regifted to a more loving mother.

And then there was a hair oil.  I get so nervous around them – they are like a two-times-in-one-day hair washing event bound to happen.  My hair is very fine and oils don’t play well.  But this Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil is supposed to be built for any hair type.  This did peak my interest, but I remained skeptical because bad things happen to good people.

Directions say it can be used on wet or dry hair.  I opted for the dry version because I’d really like to find something that will magically smooth the ends of my second day hair do.  I applied about a dime-sized drop to mid-shaft to ends and blended it in real good.  Then waited for disaster.  Surprisingly, it did not come.  My hair still felt very soft.  The oil literally absorbed right into my hair and didn’t leave any residue behind.  On the other side of the coin, however, it didn’t smooth my ends that much.  In fact, as the day wore on, my ends seemed to get tangly more than normal.  I’m going to finish the sample since it’s very tiny – maybe I’ll try it on wet hair next time – but most likely I will not repurchase.

Despite the fact that I love the Benefit POREfessional face primer, seeing it in my box was a non-event.  I mean, I’ve owned many tubes of this stuff in the past as well as all the rest of the universe.  So it’s nothing new.  Not a bad thing to receive for free, but I feel like its 15 minutes of fame is over.  However if you’d like to read my review on it, click here.  Spoiler alert:  it’s good stuff.

Look at this teeny tiny baby thing!  It’s the Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip Plumper lipstick, and I’m pretty sure the scenario went something like this:

MARKETING:  Look how nicely sized our lipstick samples are!  Our customers are going to feel so special getting something of this size for FREE!  This could last them ages and will make them very happy!  We love our customers so much!


So literally SAMPLE size.  Try not to lose this in the washing machine.

Okay, the shade is Rio and it’s a very lovely sheer brown color.  They call it a lip plumper, but just because it has a peppermint tingle does not mean it will plump your lips.  Cuz it really doesn’t.  But the lipstick is still nice.  I’ll wear it.

At first I wasn’t into the Mt. Sapola body lotion because of its intense Lavender Chamomile (but mostly lavender) scent.  I mean, it’s fully concentrated lavender.  As in, if you don’t like lavender stay far far away.  However, I wanted to give it a try because I am a professional blogger and therefore have a reputation to uphold.  So before bed, I rubbed this on my neck and chest area (and hands, obviously) and I swear on all that is holy, this body lotion put me in a deep, deep sleep.  And now I feel like I want to buy the full size.  The smell is strong, but man is it relaxing.  That is the job of lavender in case you did not know.  If you suffer from sleep problems, I’m not saying this body lotion will cure you of insomnia, but it couldn’t hurt to try it.  Full size price is $24 for 7.5oz, which isn’t the worst I’ve ever seen.

Last item in the box could quietly go away and I’d never even care about it.  Got a little travel tin of the Illume Tonka Noir candle.  If this smelled like peaches or a coconut cream pie, I’d be all over it.  But it smells like tonka bean, and I’m not sure that’s a real thing.  It’s in the “wood” category on the Illume website, and there is a musky sandlewood base to the smell.  Then they try to spruce it up with mandarin oranges and black plum, but you don’t fool me!  It’s pretty strong, and it’s not horrid, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to own all the matching pieces.  I prefer my candles fruity or foodie.  If people walk into my house and think I baked a pie, then my job is done.  Cuz I’m never purposefully baking a pie.  But if I can fake it, that counts as cooking, which means my husband has to do the dishes.  Success!

All done.  More fun stuff coming.  Been sampling like a mad woman over here.  And buying an insane amount of stuff.  But it’s my job – as soon as someone starts paying me to do it, that is.  Bye!

Sample Society | March 2015


Naturally after I get completely caught up with all my delayed February posts, every single March beauty box subscription I own gets delivered to me on the same day.  Of course!  So now I’m officially behind again.  Whhhyyyyyyeee?!?!  Not only that, but now I won’t be getting any more packages in the mail, which means there’s nothing to look forward to when I get home from work aside from TV, couch and pajamas.  Guess I’m gonna have to online shop.  What choice do I have?  (Zero.)

Here’s my Sample Society:   image

Number one product to give away is the Oscar Blandi Pronto Texture & Volume Spray.  There isn’t anything wrong with it; I’m sure it’s lovely.  I just don’t want it.  My hair routine is virtually non-existent.  Unless you count combing and leave-in conditioner as a routine.  That’s all I have patience for.  Everything else just scares me.  I’ve tried too many of those volumizer products, only to be left with a sticky-up hair nightmare and the need to shampoo twice.  I did read about the product though so I can at least provide something useful to you.  Here’s what I found out:

It’s a dry texturizing spray to make sexy, tousled undone hair.  Like bed head, but on purpose.  Now, if I had a hipper, flashier hairstyle – besides this plain, straight one I’ve been sporting for the past 9 years – a product like this might interest me.  But until someone invents a 10 a.m. start to the work day, I’m gonna have to pass.  I don’t have time to do makeup AND hair.

Number two product to give away is the Juice Beauty Green Apple Age Defy Moisturizer.  Well, maybe give away.  I received a tube of this in a previous box which I haven’t used yet.  If it amazes me, I might keep this second tube.  It’s a brightening moisturizer suitable for dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and uneven skin tone and texture.  I have all those things.  So technically, this is my most ideal moisturizer.  I was reading the review on the Allure website, and it says it creates a pretty glow on the face.  My cat ears definitely perked up at that because who doesn’t love a glowy face?  But then it said it’s best kept in the refrigerator because of the vitamin C in it.  Excuse me, whaaa … ?  I have to store my moisturizer in the fridge now?  I’ll tell you right now, I’m not doing that.  I don’t have time to fix my hair in the morning (as we’ve just discussed) much less walk myself to the refrigerator every morning.  Seriously, I’ll just take my chances.

Next item is a very pretty red-orange Cargo Essential Lipgloss in the shade Rio.  It’s a really great color for summer, especially against tan skin.  It’s a pretty sheer formula, but the color shows up well.  How they managed that is pure hocus pocus.  Or at least in the experiences I’ve had.  I didn’t get super sticky lips, which is a plus, and it’s nice and glossy.  What else can I say about a lipgloss other than that?  Turns out, not much so we’re moving on.

This would be my second tube of the Malin + Goetz Mojito Lip Balm and I’m pretty alright with that.  I love this lip balm.  It’s one of the best ones I’ve used for my chronic straggly lip skin.  I did a previous review on it, so click here if you’d like to read it. (You do.)  Everything I said still stands.  And I will use this new tube with the same level of enthusiasm as the first – perhaps with more so, since now I know exactly how much I love it.

Last and number three product to give away is the Benefit Roller Lash mascara.  This is the newest mascara offered by Benefit, and I really really like it.  I’m giving it away because this is my second sample, plus I already bought the full size.  My mascara drawer is prime real estate, so it’s best to save those slots for non-repeats.  Anyway, Sephora sent me a sample of this a couple weeks before the mascara officially launched (VIP, yo).  I went into it with high expectations cuz everything I had read told me to.  It was supposed to curl your lashes and make them stay curled without the need for an eyelash curler.  Seeing that I don’t even use an eyelash curler, this part made me giddy.  Cuz again, I don’t have time in the mornings to fiddle with my hair, grab moisturizer out of the refrigerator OR curl my eyelashes before I put on mascara.  Unless I get up a 4 a.m., and if I’m doing that, there better be a plane I’m catching to the Caribbean or something.

The brush is pretty cool.  It’s called the Hook ‘n’ Roll, and it’s designed to catch and lift your lashes, even the tiny, straight ones.  And if you want my honest opinion (and you do, otherwise, you might’ve stumbled upon this blog by accident), it does a pretty good job.  Mind you, it’s not a miracle mascara.  Like, I can achieve a lifted up, wide-eyed look with other mascaras, but because the Roller Lash says it specifically does it, and then follows through like a proper lady, I went ahead and bought the full size.  But I don’t want 17 tubes of it, so this sample is going to my mom.

Alright, one down three to go.  Plus I have a Buying Stuff I’d like to squish in as well.  I may be having a slight panicky moment over here.  Blogging overwhelms me sometimes because no one is paying me to do it, and let’s face it, money fuels most of the activity that keeps me from pajamas.  You want me to work?  Cut me a paycheck.  Want me to take you to get a haircut?   Then I’m going to Sephora across the street (and you’ll have to walk over when you’re done).  Want me to exercise and drink more water?  Looks like I need some new yoga pants.  I’m sorry, it’s the truth.  It’s basic mathematics.

Bye y’all!

Sample Society | February 2015


I am at the conclusion of my Los Angeles/Anaheim business trip and realized I have 3 days left of February and 3 reviews left to do. No pressure or anything. But I’m paying $14 for internet so I can blog from the airplane. I would ask for donations from my followers for business expenses, but George Lopez is on this flight so I’m in a particularly good mood.

Here’s my Sample Society:


I have reviewed the Batiste dry shampoo before. It’s one of the very first reviews I did on this blog over a year ago. And everything I said back then still rings true right now – Batiste is the best dry shampoo I’ve ever used. They have several different scents plus colored powder for dark hair. I’ve never used the colored powder so I can’t vouch for its efficacy. I just know if I don’t see white powder residue all over my scalp, there’s been a horrific malfunction. See, the white powder means it’s working. I’m not sure if that’s the official scientific explanation, but if psychological brain trickery is indeed a real thing, then white powder = success.

Aside from all that, I don’t wanna use any other brand besides Batiste. Nothing beats it. I’ve tried so many others. I’d say Klorane is a very good equivalent, if you care to pay more than double for it. You do you, boo boos. I’d never judge someone for paying more for something that a drugstore product does just as well. I mean, have you seen my foundation collection? We all have our weaknesses.

Y’all know I have no interest in nail polish, or at best a mild one, so the only time I perk up is if I get sent a really unique color, or maybe if it’s one from France. I don’t have a love relationship for the Nails Inc brand by any means, but this blue-grey shade in Princess Place is really quite lovely. I love the colors of Spring; they bring a peaceful happiness into my life. So if that doesn’t constitute a medical necessity, I don’t know what else does. There could even be a tax deduction loophole in there somewhere. Or at least there should be.

I’m wearing the nail polish right now. I put it on 6 days ago before my trip to Los Angeles commenced. Chip status is minimal. However, I haven’t done dishes for a week so I’m not sure if that has anything to do with it. In any case, I’m happy with it.

One thing I could absolutely give a ho hum pig’s bum about is perfume. I don’t care where it comes from – France, Italy, the tomb of Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt – I just don’t care. Receiving this Chloe Love Story perfume just about made me take a nap. It may be the most glorious perfume that ever existed, but it just gets lost on me. But for the sake of this review, and the fact I’m in a good mood (see George Lopez, above), I will give you the notes:

Orange blossom oil, which is supposed to emulate the flush of new love. Then a little jasmine mixed in to give it heart (whatever that means). Finally it’s grounded with fresh cedar wood to give it an enduring base. The style is feminine, sophisticated and sensual. Everything you’d ever want in a perfume. Not me, mind you, but everyone else. Even after that intoxicating description, my face still looks like this:


Received three little one-time use full-size pods of Nugg face masks. These are freaking adorable, are they not? So much better than a foil packet if you ask me. CEOs – take note! Nobody likes a foil packet. But these little tubs? Precious. Most likely contains the same quantity of a foil packet, but that is NOT. THE. POINT.

The three masks I got were Deep Cleansing, Hydrating and Revitalizing. I haven’t used them all, just the hydrating one, and it was pretty nice. It was basically a goopy, gel-like moisturizer that you slather on and leave for 5-10 minutes. Nothing over the top fancy, but if you’re like me, the cuteness will suck you in anyway. Plus, the convenience of these little pods will soothe your little obsessive cleaning disorder like a champ. How tidy is opening a pod, using the contents, then throwing the pod away? About as tidy as you can get. I’ve literally got goosebumps right now just talking about it.

Last product in the box is the StriVectin Intensive Illuminating Serum. Now if you’ll recall, Sample Society accidentally included this same sample in our January boxes as well. So I have two samples, and I actually got around to using one of them just in time for this review. I’ve been into it for about a week, and while I can’t say it’s working any illuminating miracles upon my face, the texture of this is pretty nice. It evaporates in seconds, so it speeds up my nighttime routine which is a good thing. Cuz fitting in 17 steps of skincare every evening sometimes overwhelms me. This serum doesn’t knock out a step or anything, but I don’t have to wait several minutes for it to sink in before I can move on to moisturizer. I can literally do my entire regime in like 30 minutes instead of 35. How awesome is that? (Not terribly, but you take what you can get.)

We’re at the end. Now officially on schedule, review-wise, if I can focus these next two days. I’m going to make an honest effort at the very least. Thanks for putting up with me, for not leaving even though I disappeared on you for a week. I can’t say I had a choice, what with working (and George Lopez) and all that. It’s that L.A. life. The struggle is real.

Bye, friends!

Sample Society | January 2015


You know you have a problem when it’s only 29 days into the new year and you’re already halfway through to qualifying for VIB Rouge for 2016.  I saw this today – right after I clicked the “submit order” button – and was like whaaaa?!  Part of me was ashamed, but then the other 99% of me was like HECK YES.

Here’s my Sample Society:


We got six products in the box instead of five this time, but Sample Society has since issued a statement that said they were so excited for February’s inclusion of the StriVectin Intensive Illuminating Serum that they accidentally put it in the January box.  In other words, we are getting this serum two months in a row now.  Well, hope it’s good then.

I do like those keywords like “intensive” and “illuminating” though.  Anything that claims to brighten my skin, even my tone and replace my old face for a new one is instantly my new best friend.  Those are the things I look for in a serum.  I want the skin of a 14-year-old.  I want all my splotches and old pimple scars to kindly get the hell out.  If I can look at myself bare faced and not cringe and say dirty words, then you can guarantee I’m buying 57 boxes of the product that caused it.

I’m not one for bars of soap, but this Erno Lazslo Sea Mud cleansing bar is a cult favorite among famous people, and because I am extremely shallow and easily swayed by such ridiculous facts, I am now looking forward to using it.  Here are some other reasons you will want to buy this:

1)  It’s formulated from dead sea mud derived from the Jordan River.  Ummmm, hello?  Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River.  The end.

2)  If you need a second reason, I will pray for your soul.  Because JESUS.  In the JORDAN RIVER.

It is kind of a funny little thing though, cuz there are some very specific instructions to using this product.  On a wet face, you apply the bar directly to your skin and massage all over.  Then set the bar aside and continue to massage your face with your fingertips.  And then you MUST splash your face with water 30 exact times.  Not 27, not 32, but 30 dadgum times or it doesn’t count and you have to start all over.  Well you don’t, but I do believe they are serious about the 30 times.  The problem with this splashing technique is that it never results in the same way as tv-commercial-splashing.  If anyone out there manages this without flooding your own bathroom, please let me know.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you are quite aware I have a zero-level love affair with nail polish.  However, if boxes insist on sending me nail polish, it better be Zoya and it better be a cool, unique color like this mint green called Tiana.  I love this shade!  It speaks of spring and warmer days ahead.  It’s a happy color, and I always want to surround myself with happy colors.  Plus the Zoya brand is such an easy, effortless nail polish to wear.  Their color range is outstanding.  If you can’t find one to call your very own, I’d be surprised and very worried at how color blind you must be.

Okay, this Philip B light weight deep conditioning crème rinse says it makes hair crazy shiny and that it’s suitable for fine hair.  I agree that those with fine hair would definitely benefit from this conditioner because it is so light weight it feels like absolute nothing on the hair.  I applied a quarter size amount to my ends, and this product disappeared into oblivion and almost made me think I imagined the whole thing.  Now, this may or may not be what you like in a conditioner.  I am of the may-not category.  I need to feel the conditioner slathered on thick and creamy.  Make me really believe it’s working, you know?  It may not work worth a shit, but at least make me think it does.  A lot can be said for psychological brain trickery.  That’s how I justify pricey skin care.

I ended up squeezing out the entire sample tube in an effort to get that luxurious, creamy effect.  And it just didn’t happen.  So I rinsed it out and moved on with my life.  As for the shiny hair claim, this stuff is chock full of healthy oils, most notably Jojoba which is best known for creating a lovely shine.  Lots of people say it does just that, but I paid absolutely no attention once my hair was dry.  I could’ve had shiny hair for Jesus, but sadly my mind was elsewhere.  However, even if it does do a good job on the shine, I won’t buy it cuz it’s not thick enough for me.

I got a Revlon Photoready Eye Art eyeshadow thingy in the shade Peach Prism.  I would never ever buy this on my own because it is a cream shadow on one end and a glitter on the other.  Two things I don’t ever get excited about.  However, for the sake of this review and I suppose to sate my curiosity (which wasn’t at peak level by any means), I tried it out.  The cream eyeshadow is very metallic, and although Allure Magazine said one swipe will give you a wash of color and two swipes will be opaque, I found this particular color pretty hardcore.  I did one swipe and I looked like a Vegas billboard for eyelids.

The glitter side was clear with lots of peach sparkles in it.  I put it on my inner corner, and it dried like cement.  Not necessarily the most flattering, but probably not too noticeable unless you’re invading my personal space.  In which case, you get a hi-yaaa! to the throat complete with side kick and spitlets and then my glitter cement is the least of your problems.

Just kidding.  I’d probably just say sorry and then go wash my face.

So, bottom line is that I can see where lots of people would enjoy these.  The applicators are very handy and create zero mess unless it’s on purpose.  I’m not a fan of this genre in general, so I’ve stored it away in the Train Case of Forgotten Makeup where it’ll make nice with my hoard of loose eyeshadows and red lipsticks.

Last product in the box is the Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar moisturizer.  I had the previous version of the Hope in a Jar and I did not like it that much.  I can’t remember exactly why, only that I threw it away before finishing the sample tube.  But this new one is … ahhhhh! … so lovely.  It has this delicious looking sheen to it that almost makes you wanna eat it. It’s very lightweight and sinks in super fast, then afterwards your face feels like silk. I was reading Allure’s review and they mention how it took them a long time to rub it in, and all I can do is look at them funny. I did not have this experience so I can only assume they are WRONG.

If that is not enough persuasion for you to go on and purchase this product, let me tell you one more thing: it’s called a “whipped” moisturizer. Whipped. That’s like cupcake topping or the middle of an Oreo. If you’re somehow able to walk away after hearing all that, you need to take your show on the road cuz willpower that strong is downright inspirational.

Time’s up. I have a var bar busy night ahead of me. YouTube videos. Ice cream. And Candy Crush ain’t gonna play itself, now is it? More tomorrow friends!

Sample Society | December 2014


I’m feeling very far behind in life this month.  Maybe it’s because of Christmas and the fact I wait until the very last minute to accomplish anything.  Maybe it’s because the sun has hidden itself behind clouds for the 57th day in a row, and all I wanna do is hibernate.  But most likely it’s because I can procrastinate like someone is paying me to do it, and when there’s money involved I can and will do just about anything.

Except for blogging in a timely manner, obviously.  And prostitution.  But hopefully you knew that already.

Here’s my Sample Society:


Great box if I do say so.  One of their better ones actually.  There’s only one thing in here that’s useless to me (guess which), but everything else I’m excited about.

I have so many eye creams under my bathroom sink right now it’s not even funny.  Even so, I’m good with getting another one.  This Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair eye cream sounds like a keeper.  It claims to reduce every key visible sign of aging which sounds like a dream come true.  But most importantly, and because I am ridiculous, I’m especially excited that it dries to a soft, velvety finish.  Who wants sticky eye areas?  Not me.

Anyway, I think I’m going to put this one in the front of the line so I can get right to it after I finish the one I’m currently using.  Keep y’all posted like I always do.

The product I was most looking forward to trying was the Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base.  At first, I wasn’t sure what to do with it – is it foundation, a liquid highlighter, or one of those shimmery glitter things that teenagers wear to school dances?  Oh, the anxiety!  But it’s Burberry so technically it didn’t matter – I’d find a way to use it and love it and never let it go.  I did some proper research anyway and discovered that yes, it can be used as a liquid highlighter, and no, it is not foundation – unless a silver sheened face is the look you’re going for.  However, the best way to use this – and I can attest – is as a foundation booster.  I add a pea-size amount (dotted onto my face) alongside my foundation then blend together.  You get this lovely, radiant finish but in a subtle, something’s different about you way.  Naturally I bought the full size.  Primarily because it’s Burberry, but secondly because it’s beautiful.  I know, I have a problem.

Got a Crabtree & Evelyn hand therapy in the Verbena and Lavender scent.  This has the tendency to be boring as it’s just hand lotion, but it is something useful since I apply lotion just about everyday.  I’ve never owned anything from this brand, so of course I immediately wanted it.  It has a super nice texture – absorbs abnormally quick; no sticky lotion hands.  Smells very good. Kind of zesty and fresh. I might even go out on a limb and say as far as hand lotions go, this one might be the most un-boring I’ve ever tried. Are you buying this yet? You should be.

Received a Butter London Lippy tinted balm in the shade Teddy Boy.  This was kind of a fun thing to get.  It’s a lip balm that looks like a lipstick, medium coverage and very moisturizing.  The color I got was like a rose neutral and it shows up very well.  It’s creamy but not shiny; definitely not matte.  It’s very impressive color-wise for a lip balm.  In fact, you’d probably not even know it was a lip balm if you didn’t see it written right there on the tube.  Similar in texture to the NYX Butter Lipsticks, if you’ve tried those.  I recommend.  Go on.  Put it in your basket.

Last thing in the box was (you guessed correctly) the big poo.  It’s an RGB nail polish in the shade Oxblood.  Mine was broken and leaking in the box, so even if I wanted it I couldn’t have it.  But since I didn’t give two spits, I threw it in the trash and moved on with my life.  However, if anyone wants to know, the color is a deep Bordeaux red and RGB recommends two coats.

There ya have it.  The best blog post you’ve ever read.  Don’t worry; I’ll be back tomorrow with more fun stuff.

Sample Society | November 2014


You know what ruins 60-degree weather?  No sun.  And rain.  You know what also ruins 60-degree weather?  Hanging around the AT&T store for 3 days trying to figure out what is wrong with my phone.  I am fighting the urge to throw my brand new Samsung Galaxy S5 across the room, but I’m betting that might not fix anything.  I am waiting “patiently” for an “engineer” to look into my situation.

In the meantime, here’s Sample Society:


Not a bad box this time.  Finally, a little ray of hope has peeked its way into my world.  But let’s not get carried away.  Let’s review.

I’ll just be honest: the fact that Lorac calls their mascara “Cobra” is enough for me to say no thank you.  I have a deathly fear of snakes; therefore, I can’t separate real snakes from fake snakes – even the mascara kind.  However, because I technically paid for the dang thing, and I was trying to be a professional, I held my breath and went for it anyway.

Good God, the wand is shaped like a cobra head.  Well, that solves that.  Back in the tube you go.

Urgh, FINE.  I am a beauty blogger.  I am a strong, fearless woman.  It’s just makeup.  Nothing to be afraid of.  Starting to itch, though.  I’ve got the hives.  Maybe a slight brow sweat.  Heart is lurching.  Stomach is dropping.  I’m literally the only person in the world about to die from the Lorac Cobra mascara.

And then … well, it wasn’t so bad actually.  The brush actually made the application really easy.  A nice wet formula.  No clumps.  Decent volume, acceptable length.  Eyelashes look pretty good.  Nothing dramatic, but definitely a noticeable difference.  I liked it.  Granted, I’ll never buy the full-size ever never in my entire lifetime, but that’s beside the point.  Baby steps, y’all.

Then I got this Malin + Goetz bergamot body wash.  I’m okay with getting this because A) I just finished a body wash and B) I always need body wash.  There really isn’t much to say about a body wash though.  Did it clean your skin? If so, I would call that a success and then move on with life.  As for the scent, it’s made with bergamot extract.  If you know what bergamot is, then you may sit yourself back down.  For the rest of us normal people, it’s an oil found in the peel of the Bergamot orange.  Which would lead one to believe this is a citrus-smelling body wash.  Wellll, it’s not.  It has a slightly spicy smell; maybe I could eke out a touch of citrus if I concentrate real hard.  But who wants to do that while relaxing in the tub?  Not me.  That’s Princess Time – if I manage to lift my leg up to shave it, that’s an Act of God practically.  And also Ordinance No. 345, Article 25, Section 3a of the Marriage Code.  (Says my husband.)

The only thing I didn’t care for at all is the Calvin Klein Reveal perfume.  It would be so much easier if perfume was interesting to me.  I haven’t bought myself a perfume since 2004.  That’s not a typo.  Plus, I still have it.  It’s probably a bottle full of poison at this point, but I still have it.

However, for those that need to know, here is the description of the perfume taken directly from the internet:  Sultry. Warm. Unexpected. REVEAL defines a new olfactive category – the solar oriental – a second skin scent characterized by unexpected raw salt, luminous flowers and warm woods.

Did this make you want to buy it?  How about this:  top notes are salt and pepper.  Did you just say salt and pepper?! out loud like I just did?  I’m not even sure that’s proper perfume ingredients.  It’s most likely written down in the International Perfume Handbook listed under the chapter titled NO.  Why Calvin Klein didn’t consult his handbook first is beyond me.

And in case you were wondering, other notes include oris and solar accord.  Which are two things that don’t even exist.  Nexxxxxt.

If you have super fine hair (like me) and want to scare the crap out of yourself, then you should read the Allure magazine review of the Alterna Caviar Omega+ Nourishing Oil.  The word “globby” is in there as well as “dull residue” – that’s enough to make me kindly walk away.  I have issues with hair products that promise to solve all my problems.  My hair is so fine that any amount of stuff will weigh it down or give me a dirty, sticky feeling.  So I approached this hair oil with trepidation.

The term “globby” is about right.  This is a syrupy, stringy mess.  I think I put in about two drops worth – maybe the size of a pea.  Ran this all through my ends, and that’s all I had the guts for.  There’s no way in hell I was going further up because I was in no mood for “dull residue” or even the “flatness” that they’ve warned might happen to those with fine hair.  And the result?  Well it didn’t feel gross, so that’s one thing.  My hair seemed to be a little smoother on the ends. At least it wasn’t as poufy as usual.  So I’m hopeful.  I will continue to use it and let you know if anything miraculous happens in a future Empties post.

Last thing in the box was this MDSolarSciences MD Crème Mineral Beauty Balm.  I used this a couple weekends ago, and all I can say is if you don’t care much about coverage, this would be a great BB for you.  I have a horrid, splotchy complexion so you can imagine how much I didn’t love it – it’s so incredibly sheer.  Felt like a silicone-y moisturizer going on, gives off a nice matte finish, somewhat blurs out minor ugly things, but all my freckles and that hideous pimple scar was having a political protest right there upon my face.  In other words:  NOT GOING ANYWHERE.  However, it still felt really nice, has a very high SPF, and would work wonders for those with already pretty nice complexions.  I’m passing it along to my daughter who has skin of a Victorian doll.  How I managed to produce something that exquisite, I’ll never know.

We’re done for the day.  If I don’t manage to get back on before Thanksgiving, wanted to wish everyone a happy holiday.  I’m going to try very hard not to eat myself into a no-pants-on situation.  It’s not a very attractive look for me.  (Or anyone for that matter.) (Except for Ryan Gosling.)


Sample Society | October 2014


My daughter has turned 21 today, and I’ve got my alcohol speech all ready to go.  I’m only a very slightly annoying mom.  All other times, I’m plain adorable.

Here’s my Sample Society:


If this box made your face go like this:  -__-

Then we are twins.  There are two things in here that excite me, but all the rest puts me right to sleep.  We were on such a roll there for awhile though, weren’t we?  Just couldn’t maintain the momentum, I guess.  Like everything else in life I suppose.  I mean how quickly were you over shaving your legs as soon as you were finally allowed to?  You know what I’m saying.  About two weeks.

Okay, let’s review.  The first poo is the L’Oreal Total Repair Extreme reconstructing shampoo and conditioner.  If I can say one nice thing, I will mention the fact I got a matching set.  It’s very annoying to get one half of the duo because what am I supposed to do with that?  So because I got both things, I will use this at some point in the future.  It’s for extremely damaged hair, which I don’t have, although I do flatiron it and you know that can’t be good.  Especially because my ends are so fine and delicate.  And they are easily irritated and tend to look like the dirty end of a broom even though I goop them up with conditioner every time I wash.  Having said all that, I will let you know how this one fares.  If a miracle happens upon my head, believe me you will be the first to know.

One thing I was super happy to receive is the Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye mascara.  If you haven’t gathered from the past 132 posts, I have a mascara addiction.  Any opportunity to try out a new one, I’m first in line.  I’ve been known to buy random, unnecessary things from Sephora.com just so I can qualify for the free mascara sample.  Cuz free is still free, even if you have to spend $25 to get it.

So this is a pretty nice mascara.  It builds decent volume.  Length is acceptable.  Brush isn’t too big.  I wasn’t like stopped in my tracks or anything – believe me, that has happened – but I wasn’t disappointed either (which has also happened – a lot).  But most importantly, it was FREE, so even if it stinks it’s still pretty good.

Why keep a happy moment going when we can ruin it all to hell with just  a few short words?  Along the lines of “Bond No. 9 High Line perfume” or thereabouts.  If you like the smell of bergamot, tulip, purple love grass, indian rhubarb, sea moss and musk, then you should buy this.  Although I’m pretty sure three of those things aren’t actual things.  Purple love grass especially.  If this truly exists, then I want a whole front yard full of it.  Anyway, y’all know perfume isn’t my thing, so this stuff could literally smell like little cucumber sandwiches in a garden full of exotic potted plants while drinking tea with the Queen of England, and I would still have to pass.  I may never get my Ladyship for saying that, but I’m just gonna have to take that chance.

Then I got a packet of the Emi Jay hair ties.  Not a beauty item, but a useful item at any rate.  I have several of these hair ties, and I do like them.  They don’t crimp your hair as much as elastic ties do.  And if you have thicker hair than me, they probably don’t crimp your hair at all.  Ummm … what else can I say about these?  Turns out, not much.  Moving on.

Let’s end of a high note, shall we?  Received the Estee Lauder Dark Spot Correcting night serum.  The fact it is a serum, it gets instant points.  The fact it is dark spot correcting, it gets bonus points.  I have a hideously splotchy complexion and anything that can make it less splotchy, and therefore less hideous, I’m all over.  Looking forward to giving this a try.

Well, gang, that’s it for today.  Got lots of birthday partying to get done, what with witnessing my daughter take her first drink of legal alcohol and then taking it away from her for the rest of the night and rest of her life.  Completely normal behavior on my part, I know.

Sample Society | September 2014


I’m trying very hard to ignore the fact that Ulta is having their 21 days of beauty.  I don’t need to know about Tarte’s $10 mascara.  I also don’t need to know about Mally’s Face Defender that is discounted by $15.  But most importantly, I absolutely do NOT need to know these sales are good for one day only.  Don’t they know what kind of massive urgency is happening in my brain right now?  And that my credit card is about to rebel in an overdraft, cutting itself in half sort of way?

I’m itching all over.  I’ve got the hives.

To distract myself, I give you my Sample Society:


Got a tube of the Alterna Caviar Repair Re-Texturizing Protein Cream.  I’ve usually had good luck with these Alterna Caviar products, so I’m looking forward to trying this one. I’ve got super fine hair that tends to tangle easily (and therefore break easily), so any product that might fortify my hair, make it stronger, sleeker, better – well, who’s gonna say no to that?  (Crazy people.)  I’m finishing up another product right now, but as soon as I’m done, this one is next in line.  And as long as it doesn’t make my hair feel dirty, sticky, or greasy (like the Alterna Bamboo thickening cream did), we’re gonna get along just fine.

Perhaps the most exciting this in the box is this full-size $85 jar of Restorsea eye cream.  With the inclusion of this product right here, I could throw away everything else and still comes out dollars ahead.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that falls under the category of SAVING MONEY and therefore the Gucci Cosmetics eyeshadow quad that’s about to happen has zero guilt stamped all over it.  My clicking hand is getting var var excited.

So I was reading the little booklet that Allure put out that gives mini reviews on the products, and it was getting me totally excited to start using the eye cream.  Talked about its winning virtues as well as how it smells and feels.  Apparently despite it’s boring white color and non-existant smell, it will make you look like you’ve been sleeping in a field of daisies for the past 15 years.  All good things, right?  Welllllll – I can’t speak for the results or anything (yet), but I will say if this thing is odorless I must be smelling things wrong.  If you enjoy the aroma of a sour washrag topped with a skosh of wet paper pile, then this, THIS, will be your sanctuary.  It smells so wrong, that I’m not even sure I got a fresh jar despite it being wrapped up in cellophane and clearly brand new.  Like, I’m kind of scared to use it.  Did I get a doozy?  Or does everyone elses smell too?  If you subscribe to Sample Society, please go sniff your jar and leave a comment.  Otherwise, my anxiety will run rampant.

For your totally useless product needs, I present the Tarte Brazillance facial tanning wipes.  Granted, I know there are people out there that love these.  I hear they are some of the best, most natural looking wipes of the self-tan genre.  But if you’ve come here for the official word then you’ll be waiting a while.  I haven’t self-tanned since 8th grade except for a very brief experimentation of some Jergen’s spray can back in 2005.  It involved me standing naked in my bathroom and my baby sister disturbed for life.  Well, how else you gonna tan everything if you don’t force someone else to do it for you?

One product I am enjoying is this little tube of the Lorac POREfection mattifying primer.  It makes my face feel very smooth and I’d swear my foundation goes on better.  I’d like to say it mattifies me, but honestly I haven’t noticed anything too drastic in that direction.  I’d also like to say it blurs my pores, but nothing really does that for me.  I don’t believe I am your ideal candidate for pore-filling.  When products claim they will make you flawless, they aren’t referring to a 40-year-old with a splotchy complexion and pores that dig to China.  Pretty sure they just mean normal people.  But if you like the texture of a silicone primer, this one is pretty nice.

Last product in the box is the Givenchy Dahlia Divin perfume.  Y’all know how perfume puts me to sleep, and this one is no exception.  I didn’t even smell it out of curiosity that’s how much I cared about it.  Nope, just stuck it in my re-gifting box for someone else to enjoy.  However, this is the perfume that Alicia Keyes inspired.  The notes are white flower, jasmine, sandalwood, plum, golden fruit, patchouli and vetiver.  And according to my research, it is a “floral woody” scent with a “radiant” feel and the woman who wears this is a sublime, sensual modern goddess.


Hopefully that means something to you perfume lovers out there.  This one just debuted this month, so if anything, it’s NEW and I don’t know about you but I just love being among the first to own something.  Which is why that aforementioned Gucci Cosmetics thing is about 2 seconds away from reality.  I’m a woman on the cusp, what can I say?

That’s all for now, friends.  Enjoy your day and I’ll be back again soon for more fun stuff.  Bye!