Since I first heard about (and subscribed to) Birchbox last year, there's been a flurry of new beauty boxes continuously appearing on the market: MyGlam, Beauty Army, and even GlossyBox is soon to be launched in the US! To be completely honest, I was a bit disillusioned about beauty boxes after my experience with Birchbox (but of course now after a spell of bad boxes they're back on top of their game), so I wasn't really looking for a new subscription. However, when I heard that Beauty Bar was launching a new sample scheme in cooperation with Allure, I thought it sounded promising and signed up for the service. The first Sample Society box just landed on my door step last Wednesday, and here are the products I received together with my initial impressions.
First of all, I like the sleek black box, which is approximately the same size as the Birchbox one. Inside, I found 5 deluxe samples wrapped in a silver tissue paper along with a leaflet, which is a bit of a different approach than other beauty boxes seem to have taken: instead of some general blurb about the products you receive, they give you tips on issues these products are designed to address, e.g. the de-puffing Skyn Iceland eye pen - some advice on how to avoid puffy eyes. I like that; the tips are nothing revolutionary, but it was still interesting to read. The leaflet also comes with a $15 off $50 purchase coupon code for Beautybar.com, which you can redeem if you buy one of the products included in the box, which would basically return the price of the box itself. Sample Society was also having a promotion when I was subscribing where you get an entire year subscription to Allure magazine for free, which is also quite cool.
Now onto some things that didn't impress me about the service this month: firstly, the boxes shipped out 2 days later than it was stated on the Sample Society website, but they did apologize about the delay when they emailed the shipping confirmation. Also, before I got my shipping confirmation, I received a random automated email listing all the samples I was going to get - what a spoiler! Fortunately, I averted my eyes just in time and still had my element of surprise when I was unboxing the package. Thirdly, the Dermalogica sample spilt all over my box and the powder got everywhere; but I guess those things happen. And lastly, I believe WA residents actually have to pay another dollar for sales tax, which is a bit unfair.
Negative remarks aside, I am really enjoying my box. In terms of value, you're definitely getting your money's worth: those really are deluxe-size samples, no little foil packets or other such nonsense. Also, all the brands are of the high-end spectrum: Dermalogica, Fekkai, REN, Oscar de la Renta and Skyn Iceland, which is a brand I've never heard about before. Actually, the Skyn Iceland Icelandic Relief Eye Pen is a full size product, the only difference from regular retail being that this was unboxed. So far, I've tried the eye pen, which is great (I might do a separate review) and the Fekkai Glossing Cream, which I quite like as well. I like that there is such a good variety of brands and products (skin, hair, perfume); I was secretly wishing for a make-up item in there, but maybe next month... If I was really splitting hairs, I'd say that two exfoliating products is a bit much, but then the REN is more like a mask, so that's ok.
I'm quite excited to see how this sample service develops over time and to hopefully discover some more new brands and products! Are you currently subscribed to any beauty boxes? What are your experiences?