Beauty Bar? Sample Society? What's that? - Sample Society is a monthly beauty subscription service by Beauty Bar (partnering with Allure magazine) that will send you 4 to 5 deluxe and full-sized samples of beauty products. It costs $15/month, a little more than the typical $10, but they promise to be from luxury brands. It also comes with a $15 gift card to use towards a $50 purchase in the Beauty Bar shop, so essentially it's free (if you spend $35 more...I'll never be using that gift card)
When there was a code going around for a free box (which I'm pretty sure was only for a limited time--sorry, guys!), I decided to test it out. My disposable income isn't so great, so I normally wouldn't be able to subscribe to more than one beauty box per month, so getting a free box was a wonderful way to see if I would watch to switch from Ipsy to this one. If you would like to sign up, please put in my referral code (MXXN9002) at checkout! Thank you!
I have to commend Beauty Bar on the packaging of this box. I like Ipsy's pink mailer and cosmetics bag, don't get me wrong, but everything just looks so tidy (and dare I say a little more lush) in this black box and black straw cushioning. Everything was nestled in its own little indentation, so it wouldn't move around (I imagine they have less problems with crushed blushes than Ipsy does).
Each month's box has a mini Allure magazine. This month's had summer beauty tips and how to melt-proof your makeup. Cool!
The Sample Society box also has this nifty little card listing exactly what's in your box, what it does, and what the retail value of the full size is. I wish Ipsy would include something like this, because even though they have the online "Glam Room" that lists what products you'll be getting, this is just so useful and concise! Beauty Bar gets a 10/10 for packaging, that's for sure.
On to the most fun part: the products! Whee!
First of all, I'm just going to point out that listing information for this product was so easy. Why? Because of the little card! Seriously, it's so great just to have everything right there. I think every subscription service should do it. Ipsy's cards just say that there are discount codes for the brands included in all of the bags overall, which isn't really helpful. The info card might be my favorite part of the box. Not that everything wasn't wonderful, but it's seriously a godsend. I believe Birchbox and a few other subscriptions do it, too. Come on, Ipsy! Get with it!
Lord & Berry Silk Kajal Eyeliner in Black (Full size: $18)
You can never have too much black eyeliner, as they say. Well, unless you're an Aryan who's been wearing brown eyeshadow as eyeliner all summer. Still, I'm going back to school soon, and I'm sure I'll be going out with my friends at some point. My black Urban Decay 24/7 liner is about halfway gone, so I'll get to this at some point. Kajal eyeliners are typically good for smudging, so this could add a nice touch to a smokey eye.
Dr. T's Supergoop SPF 37 Advanced Anti-Aging Eye Cream
(Full size [.5 oz]: $45 ~ Sample value [2mL]: $6)
I'm starting to lose excitement over the description card, namely because the name on this product seems to be incorrect. It says this is Supergoop's City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30 ($42), but in reality I received the Supergoop SPF 37 Advanced Anti-Aging Eye Cream. There's no sense in doing a description card if it's going to be incorrect. Still, maybe it was just an error, and other people received that product. I have no idea, but it's still something to be noted.
Anyway, I have way too much eye cream on standby to open this. Still, this seems like a daytime eye cream (since it has SPF), and I don't currently have any of those in my regiment (I only use one nightly). Maybe when I finish up my current one, I'll switch to this one in the daytime instead. After all, as a just-barely-20-something, I don't feel like I have to go hardcore on the eye-cream. I use one--that's enough for me. A friend of mine who also received this in her Sample Society box said her tube was basically empty (think the Dr. Jart + BB Cream samples--empty air with a little bit of product along the edges of the tube). That's such a shame! I hope that wasn't the same in everyone's case.
Tres Pure Face Tonic (Full size [4 oz]: $65)
Sample value [.33 fl oz]: approximately $5.50)
Holy cow, this toner costs $65. I love getting expensive products in boxes like this, but I better enjoy them while they last, because I'll never be able to afford to repurchase them. Then again, the full size is 4 oz, which is a lot more than I usually see, so many in the price-per-ounce it won't be so bad. Either way, I love toners; I use one every morning to refresh my skin and remove excess oil. I currently have one in use, but I'm excited to test this out when the time comes! Toner can be expensive, and you can't exactly try them on in-store, so it's nice to receive samples like this. And besides, if I really like it that much, maybe I'll suck it up and repurchase it. Who knows?
Jane Iredale Tantasia Self-Tanner (Full size [4.2 oz]: $36)
Sample value: approximately $1.75
I have gotten a fair share of self-tanners from subscription boxes this summer, and I'm not someone who typically uses self-tanner, so this product is probably going up for trade. I've heard great things about Jane Iredale products. I can't help but admit, though, that this product is good for both face and body, so why is the sample size so small? It's basically the same size as the Supergoop Eye Cream. It doesn't matter to me, since I'm not really a self-tanner person, but I hope this at least gives the user enough to see whether or not they like it.
Ecru New York Luxe Treatment Shampoo (Full size [8 oz]: $20)
Sample value [2 oz]: $7.50
I'm so happy about receiving this, since I don't have any color-safe shampoo! This shampoo is also paraben-free and sulfate-free. Sulfates are basically a detergent that cleans the hair, but strip any artificial color over time. Essentially, they're what eat your hair dye (and in retrospect, your cash for said hair job), so getting sulfate-free hair products if you have artificially-colored hair is essential. I'm about to get hot pink streaks put in my hair by my wonderful hairdresser friend, and I don't want her effort to be wasted simply because I washed my hair with the wrong shampoo! The second ingredient is Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, which is not the same thing as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (a popular sulfate found in shampoo) or any other sulfate. It's known to be more gentle and mild, and while nothing is perfect, it's definitely better! This is a really nice sample size, and I'm excited to use it!
- Lord & Berry Eyeliner (full-sized): $15
- Supergoop Eye Cream (sample): $6
- Tres Pure Face Tonic (sample): $5.50
- Jane Iredale Tantasia (sample): $1.75
- Ecru New York Shampoo (sample): $7.50
- Total Box Value: $35.75!
My favorite: The Ecru shampoo. I'm really happy I don't have to go and shell out tons of money for a new color-safe shampoo. And I never treat myself to salon-end hair products, so this is exciting.
My least favorite: The Jane Iredale self-tanner, because even though her products are supposed to be wonderful, that is the stingiest self-tanner sample I have ever seen. And I don't even use self-tanner.
My verdict: This box is worth over double what I paid for it! However, it costs $5 more a month, and although this has a wonderful array of products, I think I'll stick to Ipy for now. But it was a lot of fun trying out this new box, and I recommend it to anyone who wants to try it! Ipsy just seems to cater to more college-aged students like myself, and I like the fun, colorful makeup products that we receive. Still, if you're looking for more skincare with some makeup thrown in, I would say you should go for Sample Society instead. In a perfect world, if I had more money, I would definitely subscribe to both, since Sample Society does seem to offer a lot more skincare (and some lesser-known high-end products, as opposed to things you can find in Target or products that are more well-known).
What do you think about Sample Society? Did you receive July's box?
Disclaimer: I got this box free with a "try your first box at no cost" promo code. I'm not affiliated or sponsored by Beauty Bar or Allure.