Sample Killah: Report #1

Quick recap: This month, I’m attempting to work through some of the bite-sized beauty products I’ve accrued over the past several… years, to be honest. Unlike my sister I’m not blasting through my samples at warp speed, but like her, I have some samples that are older than my kid.

Speaking of my kid – this hasn’t exactly been a week for long leisurely showers or baths, between a baby working through sleep changes and the fact that Matt and I have been painting our living room every single night, when she goes to sleep. I’m tired. Time that could be spent using teeny lotion samples is being spent mashing a wipe across my face and going to bed. Maybe next week I’ll delve into some fun stuff.

But, this week, I did manage to pamper myself more than usual. I tried to use up the practical things like shampoo first, because no matter how tired I am, I have to wash my hair. I don’t have many little foil packets, so I suspect next week will see more samples killed, once I run through my larger products started this week.


This terrible photo of my bathroom floor in bathroom lighting brought to you by it being well past my bedtime.

Point form details – go!

  • 15 samples killed in Week One
  • The Jergens self tanner made me, and everyone else doing Sample Killah, apparently, turn 50 shades of orange. I was enjoying the product and thinking it made me look nice and tan all the way up to waking up on Day 3 wondering why the eff I was streaked with orange. I am too afraid to attempt the third package until my blotche fade out.
  • I finally used up the Honest Company body wash! Matt signed up for their trial a few months back, mostly for the diapers. For the record, their diapers are pretty awesome for disposables – if we primarily used disposables, and if shipping to Canada wasn’t crazy, we’d use them.
  • (Speaking of the Honest Company, Matt was really frustrated that he had to call in to cancel the trial package and couldn’t do it online. When he finally got through to them, after cancelling, the agent asked if he had any other needs and when he said no, she said, “Okay, love you, bye!” and hung up. He felt weird for the rest of the day, apparently.)
  • I couldn’t get the John Frieda root repair foilies to open up in the shower. Those particular products are formulated with eucalyptus, which had a nice cooling action on my mouth when I ingested a bunch of it trying to rip open the foil with my teeth. #fail

That’s all, folks. Aside from the Jergen’s fiasco, I don’t really have any standout products this week, good or bad. Nothing smelled horrendous, nothing made me feel particularly pretty, nothing mangled my face. Could be worse!

Check out the Sample Killah challenge at!

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!

Spring 2013 LuxeBox

Check out the stuff I got! 🙂 Apparently this box was special because it was a Steven and Chris box but I don’t know who Steven nor Chris are… something about CBC and I don’t watch TV unless it’s Netflix.

LuxeBox Spring 2013-1

I was relatively pysched about what I got, because it was a good variety of hair, makeup and face products (and no perfume for once!). There seems to be a pretty big disconnect between my box and the one my sister received so I think there was a wider set of products for this month.

LuxeBox Spring 2013-2

On the top left there’s the Rich Nourishing Cream from Blue Lagoon Skin Care. Haven’t used it yet, but it claims to be full of algae and other fun stuff like that.

That big blue blob to the right is a blending sponge from Loose Button, and I had to look that up to figure out what it was. I tend to use my fingers to put on my foundation and I use a kabuki brush for powder, but I tried this out to get into the creases of my nose and weird places like that. I guess it works? I don’t really know how to use it.

Finally, there’s the Pandora’s Makeup Box mascara which truthfully seemed like any other mascara to me — not amazing, not gloopy. Middle of the road.

LuxeBox Spring 2013-3

Top left: Rags To Riches Colorsmash Hair Shadow, which would make me say coooool, purple hair if I were still in a demographic where it’s okay to have purple hair. I don’t think I will be using this while, say, I cover court, or interview people. I guess I could use it on the weekend? The idea is neat, I just don’t think I’ll ever use it now that I’m not a college student. I bet my nieces would love it.

Below that is the Hydrating Under Eye Primer from Smashbox, which felt kinda greasy going on. I don’t know if it did anything but I guess it will help prevent dastardly wrinkles?

And, the Quick Blow Dry from KMS California. I think I’ve mentioned that I basically never heat style my hair anymore (too much hair, too lazy) but this did what it said and made my hair dry faster when I pointed a blowdryer at it this morning. It did not moisturize it in any way though. I would have loved this stuff in high school, when I flatironed the bejeesus out of my hair no matter what.

LuxeBox Spring 2013-4

Finally, on the left we have Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate from Lancôme which seems to be French for ‘you will always receive wrinkle cream in beauty boxes’. I’ll add it to my growing pile of tiny serums and creams.

The Silica Mud Mask from Blue Lagoon Skin Care is the one product I’m actually really excited to try! My skin has been acting very teenager-y lately and I hope it helps.

I wish I had been a recipient of the Kerastase samples! I ran out and that’s actually one product beauty boxes have taught me to enjoy.  And the Moroccanoil stuff, too.

November 2012 TOPBOX Review

Last month, TOPBOX gave me the option to select eco-friendly packaging for my November delivery, so I did! Everything was shipped in the same cardboard tube as last time, but it was a bit more no-frills, without the patterned paper on the outside, and with less tissue paper and ‘fluff’ on the inside.

It was a pretty good haul, if you consider the time of year. All of the products seemed like they would be put to good use over the glitzy holiday season (I’m not very glitzy, but I would be if I had the opportunity!).

I have tried China Glaze polish before (in my Luxe Box fall package, actually — funny how the samples repeat) and I like it. It has great coverage and lasts forever. The one I received is called I Herd That (it’s from the Safari Collection) and I immediately put it on my toes. I love gold-toned polish, and this one is really, really sparkly. It also only took two coats to make it solid enough for my liking! I found a review with some close-up photos of it here, if you’re interested. It’s not really a time for open-toed shoes around here, but I think it’d be an awesome polish for fingernails at a Christmas party.

There was a decently-sized sample of Vera Wang’s Lovestruck Floral Rush. I think one of my first Luxe Box packages included the same perfume, in a smaller size. I’m not much on wearing perfume — I go to too many scent-free public places for my job to feel comfortable with it — but again, given that the holidays are a time for parties and dressing up, perfume fits in perfectly. It will, however, likely end up in my drawer full of perfume samples.

Benefit’s They’re Real! mascara has intrigued me for a while now. I forgot to try it out and accidentally used my regular mascara instead, but rest assured, I will be checking it out ASAP!

Pari Beauty’s lip paint is a new product. I don’t often wear red lipstick but hey! Christmas! It is a true red, I think, with no weird undertones, and it even looked okay on my super-pale self. It’s a stain, and it does that well — I tried it on just for fun and wiped it off right away, and the colour was already on there pretty good. I’m looking forward to an opportunity to wear lipstick! 🙂

So, although a few of the samples were kind of repeats from other beauty boxes, I think that’s to be expected a bit. I was happy with November’s TOPBOX!

April 2012 Luxe Box Review

My latest Luxe Box was filled with delightful things!

Everything seemed to follow a bit of a purple theme, along with it being Daffodil Month in April — for April’s box you could donate one of your products to support the cause, and they also sent a daffodil pin in the box. It’s kind of lazy charity because I didn’t really do anything to support Daffodil Month, but at least it’s something.

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From the top, left to right, there was the aforementioned pin, a full-sized Essie nail polish, Pantene Aqua Light shampoo and conditioner, BOBOS Remi leave-in conditioner spray, and Yves Rocher eye makeup remover for sensitive eyes.

The pin is really cute but I’m not a pin wearer so I’ll have to find something on which to stick it. I’m excited about the nail polish, even though purple isn’t really my favourite colour for fingers, because a) I’ve never tried Essie and b) it looks fun on my toes.

I used the other four products right away — as much as I kind of thought Pantene, seriously, I thought this was supposed to be fancy stuff I like the idea of silicone-free products with my crazy hair. I used the shampoo and conditioner then followed it up with the BOBOS spray and, while my hair is still out of control, it feels soft and smells good. Once I get a haircut I’ll be happy!

The eye makeup remover was perfectly timed because I don’t have any left and was just about to get some. I wasn’t patient enough to follow the instructions (soak a cotton pad and hold it on your eye for a minute before wiping away) so when I woke up this morning there was still eye makeup that had migrated onto my face. Still, I have sensitive eyes, and I’m willing to bet if I follow the rules this is a product I’ll use.

I’m glad I got products that I’ll use, this time around — everything seems a bit more age appropriate. I think I had initially figured I’d be getting more makeup samples, but I’m happy with things like hair products and nail polish, too!