Sample Killah July

What is Sample Killah July?! Easy – it’s how I’m attempting to clear out my box of mini-sized beauty products. My sister is hosting the challenge, which is quite simple:

  1. Sign up.
  2. Dig out all of those itty bitty soaps, shampoos, lipsticks, etc., and use them up during July.
  3. Post four progress reports on the required dates (via Instagram, Twitter, blog, whatever).
  4. PROFIT! (Maybe – there’s a $50 PayPal prize for one lucky winner!)

She’s keeping signups open until the end of July so it’s not too late to join in. The prize is being awarded randomly so it’s not like you’re falling behind.


I set aside 80 samples, picked out from my big box of random things. I don’t subscribe to any beauty boxes anymore so most of my samples are older leftovers, things Kay sent me, extras that come with orders from places like, goodies from influencer programs, that kind of thing. I doubt I’ll get through all 80, but if I do – or even if I get through a decent chunk of ’em – it will mean I can stop thinking about how many tiny little face washes I have kicking around in my bathroom cabinet.

So far I’m finding that Sample Killah is making me take extra time to beautify, which is nice. Personal care, in terms of things like lotioning my legs or priming my face – or even wearing makeup most days – has fallen by the wayside since I became a mom. Many mornings I’m rushing out of the shower because the baby woke up while I was washing my hair and is now screaming her face off in the crib. But on days when I get some quiet time, it’s nice to try a new hair product, or slap on a face mask after the bedtime routine.

I’ll be posting progress reports on Thursdays for the rest of July, like everyone else involved in Sample Killah, so you can see what I’ve been destroying and enjoying. I definitely encourage you to play along!

Sample Overload

Yesterday I carved out a tiny chunk of time to tackle my bathroom (… mostly. I still need to scrub the toilet, shower, and floor.). Underneath the sink had turned into a wasteland of products, shoved and packed in haphazardly over the last few months. I hate my bathroom, and I hate the storage/lack thereof. The problem with no good storage? Sixteen different boxes all full of random things that I don’t use because I don’t know they exist.

I’ve stopped all of my beauty box subscriptions, because I don’t have much money to spare and when I do have a bit of extra cash, I want to spend it on something I specifically need, rather than a gamble. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed my subscriptions, but they’re a luxury that isn’t in line with our household at the moment. Still, I have TONS of samples accumulated from months of beauty boxes, and a few deliveries from my sister.

photo 1

I decided to put all of my makeup into a big bin — regular stuff, samples, and the stuff from the postpartum care package Kay sent me. I’m hoping that I can weed out the stuff I use on a regular basis and move it into a smaller bag, while still keeping the rest of it available for special occasions! I’m not wearing much makeup lately — the tinted moisturizer and powder are about it, when I get around to wearing makeup — so it might take awhile to sort through.

photo 2

As for the samples, I dumped ’em all in another box. But I’m not sure how to go about getting through them. There are a few I know I want to use at specific times, like the nail decals for my upcoming stint as a bridesmaid, but other than that they’re a huge overwhelming pile of tiny packets and vials.

All I can think of is grabbing one sample at random, maybe once a week or so, and testing it out, but if you guys have any better ideas I’d love to hear them!

Fall 2013 Luxe Box

My latest Luxe Box was pretty perfect for a pregnant lady!


This was a really nice mixture of products — not too much skin stuff, and NO wrinkle cream (hallelujah!). And a lot of it, I’m looking forward to using while relaxing a bit post-Halloween trick or treater rush. 🙂

Here’s what I got:

Barefoot Venus Bath Bliss – This stuff smells awesome! It seems to be a scented skin moisturizer that you put right in the bath. The whole box smelled like coconut because of it, so I hope the smell translates over to the water.

B.Kamins Diatomamus Earth Mask – My skin is pretty rough right now, if you ask me. B.Kamins has been friendly to my face before so I’m excited to try this out.

L’Occitane Supple Skin Oil – This is an almond oil moisturizer which sounds wonderful to my itchy belly. No stretch marks yet, but a supple oil can only help, right?

Be a Bombshell eyeliner – A nice, thick felt-tip-like eyeliner. I think this is going to be a makeup bag staple post-baby, if it’s any good, because the marker eyeliners are so easy to use!

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk – Going right into the hospital bag. I’m not a big dry shampoo user but I’m willing to try!

Covergirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Gloss in Grapevine – When I can reach my toes this is going on them!

TheBalm Instain Powder Blush in Swiss Dot This just seems like a fun, colourful product — something nice to try out and feel like I’m dressing up my maternity leave sweatpants a bit. 🙂

Overall I’m really impressed with this round of products (having not tried any of them yet, of course). There’s nothing in here that I don’t want to try, or that I’m disappointed with, which is exactly what I want out of a beauty box!

Summer LuxeBox Reveal

After an issue with shipping my LuxeBox arrived! (LuxeBox ran out of their normal packaging, but offered up boxes sent on the regular schedule if people opted for different packaging — I opted for the different packaging but used the wrong email address to do so, so I got mine a bit later than usual). Here’s the haul:

Summer Luxe Box 2013

(Don’t mind the cat!) It was a pretty good mixture of stuff — fun and practical.

Summer 2013 LuxeBox

First up, these Essie nail stickers. I very much suck at doing nails (I think my sister must have got all that talent) so peel and stick stuff is great for me. Unfortunately I also suck at applying peel and stick nail polish! Here’s a strange fact, though — Matt used to work in a sign store, and part of his job entailed applying vinyl decals to tricky things like airplanes. He applied nail stickers for me last year and did an awesome job, so that’s my backup plan. 🙂

The Simple Pleasures vanilla rose hand cream isn’t something I’d pick out for myself — I never, ever use hand creams — but the smell isn’t too heavy, nor is the product, and with all the packing/moving/painting in my near future it might be handy to have (no pun intended).

Summer 2012 LuxeBox2

Moving along — Olay colour correcting cream, a.k.a. CC cream, a.k.a. the new BB cream from what I can tell. I don’t really feel like Olay is a luxury product so it always seems out of place in these beauty boxes, but I’m curious about the product itself. BB cream doesn’t play nicely with my skin (I just threw out my Garnier stuff because it makes my face shiny and feels like its burning my skin) and I don’t know if CC cream will be any different.

Next, there’s Just Cavalli perfume. Not a big perfume fan, especially since getting pregnant. This stuff smells like most of the other perfume samples I’ve picked up along the way; I’m not sure if I’m just bad at discerning between fragrances or what, but it doesn’t seem very special. And I couldn’t figure out how to open it for about five minutes.

The Loose Button foundation brush is intriguing to me. I don’t think I’ve ever used a foundation brush! I’m trying to get my makeup routine into something a lot more simple as we get closer to baby time, because I don’t think applying all kinds of products with all kinds of brushes is going to jive well with sleep deprivation, but I’m excited to try this out and maybe keep it for special makeup occasions.

Summer LuxeBox 2013

Goldwell Jelly Boost is a spray gel that promises body and texture. I definitely don’t need volumizing with my hair, but it might be good for my new bangs? And then there are these feather clips which made me laugh. Beauty boxes want me to do weird stuff with my hair. I suppose I might find some occasion to clip in hot pink feathers!

July 2013 Topbox Reveal

I went for the standard Topbox this month — none of the special options really stuck out to me. I feel like I’m gambling by going for a mystery box now, which is funny because that’s how they all used to be! Here’s what I got (and full disclosure, I haven’t actually tried any of this stuff out yet):

July Topbox

KMS Dry Xtreme Hairspray – I kind of hate when people drop the e on extreme. It’s xtreeeeeeme. Anyway. Apparently this is a super-volumizing hairspray which is exactly what I don’t need with my hair in its current state (read: frizzy, HUGE, tangled, unmanageable). I’ve switched conditioners and it’s helping, but truth be told, getting this product is what finally prompted me to book a haircut next Friday. I haven’t had a haircut in over a year (seriously) and pregnancy is making it all the more huge, so it’s time for a trim. I guess if this hairspray sucks, at least it got me to get a cut?

Belvada Essential Day Cream – That’s the caviar-like stuff on top. I pulled it out of the package and made a WTF face — there are apparently 24k gold flakes in it? You’re supposed to grab three of the ‘pearls’, mix them with the serum/moisturizer/weird goop, and put it on your face. It seems simultaneously fancy and disturbing. I’m probably not their target market but I’m going to try it anyway.

B. Kamins BB Cream – My only experience with BB cream has been the Garnier stuff that makes my face look sweaty. This apparently doesn’t have colour to it; it’s a transparent product that does all the stuff BB cream is supposed to do. Pregnancy is not treating my face kindly, so we’ll see.

China Glaze in Keeping it Teal – This is a fun colour! I pretty much only paint my toenails — I suck at fingernails — and this seems like it will be good for feet. I have used China Glaze and liked it before, although my last freebie seemed kind of gloppy. I hope this one turns out nicely!