Thursday, May 14, 2015

Allure Sample Society (May 2015) by

Allure Sample Society is quickly becoming one of my favorite subscription services.  A little background:

"Allure editors don't just obsess over beauty products — they uncover the groundbreaking, game-changing formulas making waves throughout the beauty sphere, from hair and makeup to skin care and fragrance."

"They do all the legwork so that you can do the fun part: open a glossy red box filled with five hand-picked, editor-tested products every month. Bonus: Allure editor-penned mini-magazine boasting in-depth reviews of each sample."

Here's what's included:
  • Five deluxe-size beauty samples—so you can use each one more than once
  • Curated mix of skin, hair, and makeup products, as well as fragrance
  • Allure mini-mag, packed with in-depth beauty sample product reviews written by Allure editors
  • $10 gift card to redeem on any $50 Beauty Bar purchase

I really dig the mini-mag.  Very professional and so much information on the products!  Definitely the best, most descriptive tool I've seen in any box.  Each page has a "What It Is," "How It Looks/Feels," "Why We Like It" and the retail price of the full-sized item.  Some products have a "What It Does," as well as a "Key Ingredients" list.  A lot of people have allergies or find certain ingredients affect their skin in negative ways, so I think this bonus information is great.

Here's what I received:

Eau Thermale Avene Thermal Spring Water (50mL) - A skin-quenching water spray that calms and softens sensitive and dry skin.  Key ingredients are thermal spring water, iron, manganese, zinc and copper.

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask (20mL) - An overnight hydrating mask that draws in serious moisture, leaving skin looking plumped and glow-y.  Key ingredients are cyclopentasiloxane, glycerin, trehalose and beta-glucan.

I'm no newbie to these types of facial products because of my kbeauty obsession.  The spring water was refreshing.  The sleeping mask made my face super smooth and soft.  A lot of these masks are supposed to be washed off in the morning, but I like to just keep it on.  It's basically a moisturizer on steroids, so...

John Frieda Luxurious Volume 7 Day Volume In-Shower Treatment (1oz) - A gel you apply in the shower to washed and conditioned hair, then rinse out before blow-drying to create fullness that lasts through three to five shampoos.  The gel coats hair with polymers that, when set by the heat of a blow-dryer, create a flexible layer around each strand.  The coating is water-resistant, so it lasts through several washings.  Meanwhile, fruit acids penetrate the hair shaft to boost volume from within.

Alterna Caviar Repair Multi-Vitamin Heat Protection Spray (0.85oz) - A weightless styling spray that softens and protects hair.  It smooths strands that are dull and frayed from overstyling and helps prevent further damage from flatirons and blow-dryers.  Key ingredients include Biotin and Vitamins B6, B12 and E.

I could totally feel the volumizer in my hair after I shampooed and conditioned.  It was a strange texture because I'm used to my conditioner leaving my hair so smooth and silky.  This was a tiny bit tacky after rinsing.  But it did leave volume in my hair.  It felt great.  The heat protection spray smelled so good.  It did not leave my hair feeling stiff, so I liked it.

Julep Lip Gloss in Graceful (0.1oz) - A sheer pink lip gloss with the slightest amount of shimmer.

Versace Eros Pour Femme EDP (0.17oz) - An easy-to-like, hard-to-describe fragrance with notes of Sicilian lemon, bergamot, pomegranate, jasmine, peony, sandalwood, amber and musk.

What do I say about this lip gloss?  I almost gave it away because I didn't think it was my color?  So glad I didn't because it left the most awesome gloss on my lips, and it had a very pleasant taste.  So sheer, not sticky at all.  I'd been wanting to try Julep lip glosses for a while but haven't because of price.  However, this was incredible.  Seriously glad to try it.  I will happily buy colors I want now.  The formula is amazing.  The eau de parfum was exactly as described.  Easy to like, hard to describe.  I don't think this was for me (although my husband really enjoyed it).  I prefer a little more definition in my fragrances.  I liked it.  I really did.  But I'll pass it along to someone more apt to use it.

Last month's Sample Society box was largely criticized by other bloggers.  The retail value (just) barely surpassed the cost of the box ($15) and the samples were super tiny.  I suspected that this month would be pretty fantastic, and it is!  I calculate this May box to have a value of $35.47.  Every sample is more than an adequate amount to see how you like the products.  There's a wide variety - skin, hair, makeup and fragrance - and more high end than drugstore brands.

I'm very impressed with this box, and cannot wait to see what they have in store for me next month.

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