Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Allure Sample Society September 2014

 Allure Sample Society is raising the bar on the low price beauty boxes. Formally known as the Beauty Bar Sample Society, boxes used to contain many skincare products, with the occasional cosmetic item. And while they were nice, myself and many other grew tired of their lack of curation quickly and many people began to cancel their subscriptions.

I've mentioned for the past couple of months now, that Sample Society was completely revamped: from samples and brands all the way to their box design. Allure was always a part of the curation of the Sample Society boxes, but now they have full control. The beauty director of Allure not only helps curate the boxes, but also writes all the information on each product in the info booklet that comes with each box. It's actually a very informative read about all the products you receive, and one of my favorite things about Sample Society boxes.

The Deets
Allure Sample Society is $15 dollars per month, and within each box you will receive 5 deluxe beauty samples. You also get a coupon code for $10 off a $50 purchase from beautybar.com each month, which is nice if you're planning a shopping spree!

If you've heard of, or currently subscribe to Birchbox or Ipsy, Allure Sample Society is very similar. It may be $5 more expensive, but the sample are usually larger, and from higher end brands. 

1. Lorac POREfection Mattifying Face Primer
 I love Lorac eye shadows. I've been buying their palettes for years now, and ever since they released their famous Pro palettes, they've really been creating a buzz. I have owned quite a few of their lip products as well, but never have a ventured into many of the other items in their line. This product is their mattifying face primer, which helps reduce shine and keep you matte without feeling chalky or cakey. This primer is oil, fragrance, and paraben free, and contains salicylic acid, which helps to declog pores and zap blackheads and zits. Even better, it has antioxidant vitamins A, C and E to protect skin.
I love a primer that does more than just sit there on my skin. I think it's awesome that this primer offers something different in that it is helping your skin while also holding your makeup in place and keeping your skin shine-free. I haven't had a chance to test this out yet, but if it works as well as it claims to, I think I may have found my new favorite primer!

2. Tarte Brazilliance Self Tanning Face Towelettes
These tanning towelettes are made to be used on your face, an are free of parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate and gluten. They apparently deliver a natural-looking bronze so you can use them on your face without worrying that you'll turn into an orange. The info card says each towelette is saturated enough to cover your face, neck and chest.
Love Tarte. Hate tanning. As most of you know, I follow a strict Korean skincare routine, which includes protecting myself from sun damage. Along with that comes my very pale skin. I have embraced my skin and it's natural appearance, and I really have never been interested in "being tan." However, these will be passed on to my mom, who is a self-tanning sun goddess! I think the best part about seeing these in the box this month is that I now know that Sample Society could feature another Tarte product in a future box! Yay!

3. Alterna Caviar Repairx Re-Texturizing Protein Cream
Alterna is a brand that has been featured in the old Sample Society boxes quite a few times. I have always been fine with receiving their products, because they have genuinely worked for my hair! This is a leave-in conditioner that helps dry and damaged hair. It's free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, mineral oil, petrolatum, sodium chloride, synthetic color and gluten. According to the info booklet, this stuff fills in the cracks of the hair cuticle and helps make it stronger and more smooth. 
I usually stay away from products like this because I have very fine hair and it tends to look greasy and/or weighed down when I use thick leave-in creams. However, the helpful little info booklet informed me that this can be used on fine hair to repair damage and breakage. They suggest using a pea-sized amount through the lengths of the hair (focusing on the ends) and then running what's left on your hands through the rest of your hair. I'll definitely try this, as my hair is always in need of some help!

4. Restorsea Revitalizing Eye Cream
 This is a full size eye cream from Restorsea, and it retails at...get this: $85! Whew! That's a very high value product for a $15 subscription! I love a good eye cream, and while I don't have many issues with the skin around my eyes at my age (29), I know that prevention is the best medicine! This cream is deeply moisturizing and anti-aging, and is good for sensitive skin and eyes as well as contact users. This product is also free of parabens, phthalates, silcone, PEG's and mineral oil. I love that pretty much all the products in the box this month are free of so many harsh ingredients! This cream is also fragrance-free, and comes with a little spatula to easy of application. I'm excited to quickly finish up my current eye cream so I can give this one a shot.

5. Givenchy Dahlia Divin Perfume
I usually groan just a little bit when I receive perfume samples in subscription boxes, usually because I can just ask for them at my local Sephora free of charge. Even so, there are sometimes perfumes I'd never think to try, or even some I've never heard of. In those cases I'm totally fine with getting fragrance samples.
I've obviously heard of Givenchy, (who hasn't?) but this perfume is unfamiliar to me. It's described as a "woody floral" with notes of Jasmine, patchouli, sandalwood, vetiver and mirabelle plum. I really love scents that are heavier: orientals, musks and woody scents, so I thought this one sounded interesting. It's definitely a deeper, warmer scent, but still manages to be subtle. I'm a Dior Addict fan, and while that is oriental, dark and musky, sometimes it's not appropriate for daytime wear. A perfume like Dahlia Divin is a great option for me when I need a daytime perfume that is still warm and oriental-like, but not overbearing. I might just have to pick this one up!

Overall Thoughts
This is the 3rd Sample Society box since the relaunch, and at first glance I thought it would be my least favorite. However, after playing around with everything and learning more about the products, I'd say this one is right in the middle. Better than last month for me, overall. I will use everything in the box except for the tanning wipes, but those will be great to pass on to someone. What I do love, is seeing an $85 eye cream and 2 very popular cosmetics brands (Tarte and Lorac) included, as that just shows me that they are open to working with Sample Society in the future.
This box was worth WAY more than the $15 I paid for it, and is doing what I want my subscription boxes to do: introduce me to new products and allow me to try things I might not normally test out. I continue to be thrilled with Allure Sample Society, and I'm very excited to see what their October box will have in store!

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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.

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