Friday, March 30, 2012

Lavera Mango Milk hair treatment review

I received this Lavera hair treatment in my March BeautyBox5, and as I do have color treated hair, I was excited to try it.  My hair can be difficult, so I'm always up for trying new ways to tame it and make it happy.  I finally had a chance to try it out this morning, and I am surprised and pleased with the results!

Lavera was a new brand to me, so I decided to read up on them before I tried the product.  They are a company committed to safe, natural, and organic cosmetics, and they make body care, skin care, hair care, and makeup.  They seem to have a decently wide range of products, and I love that they are paraben free, cruelty free, and all products are suitable for sensitive skin.

One of my current goals is using up all of my current beauty products and replacing them with natural, organic products.  It's been pretty easy to do this when it comes to skin care and body care, but I've yet to find the perfect natural hair products for me, so I'll definitely be looking into their shampoos and conditioners!

This same is their Mango Milk Hair Repair deep conditioning hair treatment.  The sachet had enough product in it for two uses, so I have another treatment to do next week.  It contains lots of good sounding things - mango fruit extract, green tea extract, cotton flower extract, organic oils (including jojoba, avocado, and soybean) and shea and cocoa butters.  I found the texture to be rich and easy to apply, and it smells good! Fruity, but not too strong or overwhelming.

Per the instructions, I applied this after my shower, after washing my hair.  I slathered my hair in the product and let it soak in (the directions say 5-10 minutes, I got distracted, so mine stayed on for about 15).  It rinsed out easily and my hair felt silky smooth.  I was in a hurry, so I just put it in a loose braid to keep it out of my face and let it dry.

A few hours later, I let my hair down and I was really happy!  My hair looked so shiny, and it felt great - soft and smooth.   Forgive the picture - I had just taken my hair out of braids.

All in all, I think this is a really good product!  I plan on trying out some other products from this brand, as natural, healthy products that actually WORK are worth their weight in gold to me.

Have any of you tried any Lavera products?? If so, what do you think of them?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March giveaway from Glamourdolleyes

Vee at glamourdolleyes is having her March giveaway, and it's valued at more than $100!  Go enter!

Monday, March 26, 2012

EgoTea Spread the Word post!

As I posted just a bit ago, I am a tea fiend!  EgoTea is offering a free tea sample to bloggers who are willing to post a link to them and their page, so I couldn't resist.  Not only do I want to try some new tea, I want to share an awesome company with you guys!

EgoTea is an artisan tea company who focus on clean, sustainable products and business practice and products.  Click the link below to check them out yourself. They offer black, green, herbal, and flowering teas as well as tea ware.

Loose Tea

A favor?

Can I ask you guys for a favor?  If you have a Facebook, will you go here and vote for my dog, Rowan, to win a lifetime supply of doggy food?   He's awfully cute...

Tea Forte Cherry Marzipan Skin Smart Tea review

When we were given the option to choose the Teen Vogue box from Birchbox for March, I jumped at the chance...but when I later saw that many of the regular boxes contained these Skin Smart teas from Tea Forte, I kind of regretted my decision.

See, I love tea. I LOVE IT. In my old apartment, I was teased for having an entire tea pantry.  It is my favorite beverage.  I drink it iced, hot, black, green, red, herbal, for breakfast, snacks, lunch, and dinner.  I am a big fan.  So I was quite disappointed that I was going to miss out on getting these teas in my Birchbox... but luckily for me, I found a lovely fellow Makeuptalk forum member who was willing to swap her teas for one of my samples, and I was overjoyed!

I've tried and enjoyed some Tea Forté teas in the past.  They're a great company. They make a quality product, and they are also Fair Trade Certified.  I had heard of, but not tried, the skin-smart line of teas, so I was excited to try them!  They are supposed to contain antioxidants and ingredients to keep your skin happy.

They came in the mail today and I decided to try one tonight.  I started with the Cherry Marzipan.  This is a green tea for corrective repair.  The company says that this is "Special Reserve green tea with the tart-sweet lushness of acerola cherries and the depth of nutty toasted almond".
Cherry tea can be hard to do right.  Oftentimes, the cherry is overpowering and fake tasting, so I was interested to see how Tea Forté would handle it.  I wasn't disappointed!  After brewing for 3 minutes, I tasted the tea.  It was good!  The first note to come out is the cherry, not overpowering, just tart and sweet enough.  It's followed by the earthy green tea, then finally the sweet nutty almond.  It was great as was, but for the second taste, I added a squeeze of honey.  I think the honey brought the flavors out even more!

This is a really tasty tea, and I think I will be purchasing a box.  I'm always looking for yummy things to put in my favorite tea cup, and if they can do good things for my skin, even better...

All About Me

I was tagged by Vee from glamourdolleyes to do the get to know me tag.  I never do these, but none of my readers here know much about me, so why not?

The Rules 
1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves on their blog.
2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you plus eleven questions for the people you have tagged to answer.
3. Choose eleven people and link them in your tag.
4. Go to their page and tell them.
5. No tag backs.
6. You legitimately have to tag.

All About Me! 
1. I have a HUGE immediate family, and there is a 10 year gap on both sides of me.  I have five brothers and two sisters, all half.  I'm my dad's oldest, my mom's youngest, and the only kid they had together.
2. I am a huge animal person and I have a very spoiled, very loving 2 year old pit bull named Rowan and two cats named Edgar and Lucy.  
3. I work at a home for profoundly disabled children, both mentally and physically handicapped.  I love my job most of the time.
4. I'm addicted to beauty products of all kinds, and I have a hard time resisting spending what little extra money I have on them...if I had my way, my apartment would look like a Sephora warehouse.
5. I'm on a mission this year to go green.  I'm using up the rest of my "non-green" products, and I've vowed to by only natural products once they're gone WHEN POSSIBLE.  In some cases, I haven't found a good green alternative yet.
6. I spend the vast majority of my life in scrubs and pajamas, but when I do wear real clothes, my favorite things to wear are dresses!
7. I absolutely love to read.  It bums me out that I work so much because I rarely read anymore.  One of my goals for this year is to read at least one book per month.
8. I've never been on a vacation.  I want one.
9. I love jewelry, but it looks stupid on me.  Same thing with lipstick.
10. I am a strong advocate for equal rights and treatment.  People are people regardless of race, gender, orientation, gender identity, or social class.  I have little tolerance for bigots.
11. I have seen every episode of Gilmore Girls probably 10 times.

Vee's questions:
1. What's your favorite eye shadow? Oh, man...I'm not sure I have one favorite.  I really love the mineral shadows from Elf because they're so cheap, have decent pigmentation, and go on smoothly.  I do wish they had more color variety. I'm still on a quest to find the perfect brightly colored, affordable, paraben free shadows.
2. Do you have siblings? What are their names?  MANY, as I explained above.  Their names are (in order of age)  Dominick (39), Stacy (38), myself (27), Grant (17), Hope (16), Lane (13), Luke (7), and Samuel (15 months).  Yes, I know.
3. What is your favorite song? I have many, but I think the two best songs ever written are Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen (love the Buckley and Cale versions too) and Like A Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan.
4. What is your favorite animal?  I love dogs.  My favorite "more exotic" animals are red pandas and penguins.
5. What is one item you just can't get to work for you? Fake lashes!
6. What is one trend you just couldn't stand? Jeggings, unless worn under a dress.
7. What is your favorite TV show? Gilmore Girls, Supernatural.
8. If you could take a trip anywhere in the world, where would it be? I'd love to see Hawaii someday, and I'd love to go to London.
9. What is your favorite nail polish? I'm not a nail polish person, but I do like the Zoya Feel collection.
10. Have you ever been to a concert? What was your favorite? Hundreds of local ones, but my favorite live show I"ve seen has been Bob Dylan.
11. What day is your birthday!? April 22, which is also Earth Day!

I'm going to break the rules a bit and tag people later...I have to be productive for a bit, lol.

Sindulge - March box.

Sindulge is a brand new company.  Based in California, they offer deluxe handpicked beauty samples delivered monthly, just like other sample companies.  However, Sindulge offers something a little different - a live consultation prior to sending out your samples.  You can do this via video or text chat with one of several beauty advisors.  It's a pretty cool idea - theoretically, you can tell them the things you want, need, and dislike, and receive a package that fits you each month. Sounds great to me.

However, they've had a pretty rocky start, due to technical issues and shipping issues. Often, people were unable to schedule their consultations, time zone differences caused problems, and there was no way to manually change or reschedule your consultation time, and it made this first month a pretty discouraging one for many potential customers. However, they do seem to be working out the kinks and they now offer the option for an email consult, which helps with scheduling conflicts.

After seeing some really great bags and some pretty blah ones, I wasn't expecting much.  I think they got a higher demand than they expected, and weren't prepared for such a large volume of orders, and as such, the different products were limited.  When I opened my first bag today, I wasn't thrilled, but I wasn't horrified, either.

In my consultation, I told her I loved bright colors, all eye makeup, and lip balms and glosses. I told her I have sensitive skin so prefer not to receive many skincare samples, and that I do not wear foundation.  It's hard to tell if my consultation was listened to, as I received mostly the same samples as others have, and one different one.

I do find the packaging cute.  Inside the box, there's a little cardboard bag, about the size of a makeup bag.  It has a ribbon strap and I think it's a nice difference from the usual mesh bags or square boxes we're used to.  

I'll probably save this to keep samples I plan to put up for trade in, it's not too big and it stands up on its own.  I didn't take a picture of the inside of the pouch, but the products were covered with a sheet of red tissue paper. 

The first thing I pulled out was this Youngblood Mineral Primer.  According to Youngblood, this primer is to be used after cleansing to lock in moisture and after makeup application to set mineral foundation.  The full size retails for $41.  Nearly everyone I've seen has gotten this primer and it does not sound like a bad product...but I did tell her that I do not wear foundation, so I personally don't have much of a use for it.  That said, I'll give it a shot after cleansing and see if it really does lock in moisture.

Secondly, I found the pixie Eye Bright Primer.  This is supposed to fill in lines, and work like a magnet to hold eye makeup in place all day, and keep your lids matte and crease free.  It retails for $18 for the full size.  I did tell her that I was interested in an eye primer, so I am happy with this sample.  I do wish it was a bit larger, but I am glad to give it a shot.

I then pulled out these fauxlash lashes.  These are the Audrey style, found in the Natural line, and they retail for $16.  These are pretty and delicate and look like they'd be nice and fluttery on.  I don't wear falsies, though - I'm just not coordinated enough to apply them properly.  They will be great to trade, though, and this makes me think that they did listen when I said I like to play up my eyes.

This is Bella Rosa calming skin creme.  It is an oil free creme that is aloe vera based, and ideal for all skin types, especially sensitive.  At first I was a little annoyed that I got this, due to my sensitive skin, and I thought the scent was too heavy for my skin.  However, I found that the texture of the creme was actually very light, and while the smell was strong, it was due to the damask rose water used to make it.  I'm not a huge rose fan, but I decided I will give this a try (and I know my mom will love it if I don't).  The full size retails for $88.  (Note: I did end up giving this to my mom).

This rolled out and I didn't notice it until a bit later, but Im glad I found it!  This is the pixie Endless Silky Eye Pen in Black.  This is a long-wearing, no transfer eye pen that is supposed to give the effect of a liquid liner, but apply like a pencil.  It retails for $14 for the full size (not sure if that is bigger than this or not).  Pictured is the liner after a full sharpen, as I broke the tip off when I opened it.  It does go on smooth, rich, and dark.  I do wish I had gotten this in a color, but I will use it and I feel it adds to the value of this bag by a LOT.

Overall, I think this is an okay bag.  I wish I had gotten some color instead of the mineral primer that I don't need, but it is their first month.  I'll give them another month to impress me.  If you want to give the a shot, sign up at  :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Beauty Box 5 - March Box

I got my second Beauty Box 5 today!  I do think this month's box is better than last's, and I will be using everything in it.

This box has a decent value, and it DOES contain a makeup item, which is always a plus!  Here's everything, all unboxed.

I got a hair care item, three skin care items, and a makeup item.  At least there's a little variety there.

This is a lavera Mango Milk hair treatment for colored hair and color protection.  I do have color treated hair and I love hair treatments, so I'll be trying this one sometime this week.  It retails for $17.50 for a pack of 5, so this is a  $3.50 value. From the site:
While Mango Milk Hair Treatment is very beneficial for color-treated hair (protecting color from fading), this intensive conditioner is perfect for all hair types. It will not weigh down fine locks, yet easily penetrates coarse and dry hair. Lavera Mango Milk Hair Treatment is a thick and rich remedy for hair in need of repair.

This is a Freeman anti-stress mask with Dead Sea minerals. From the site:
This anti-stress mud mask enhanced with Dead Sea Minerals instantly absorbs excess oil while clarifying and purging pores. Rinse away the mask to reveal smooth, radiant, healthy looking skin. Perfect for oily and t-zone skin types prone to breakouts.
  I'm generally not super into Freeman masks (though I don't mind them) but if this works, it does sound like something I could definitely use.  Around here, these sachets retail for about $2, while the full size retails for $3.99.

This is an eye tint from Becca in the color Vicune.  I have not heard of this brand, but I'll definitely try this.  It's a golden champagney shade and the consistency is light and creamy with a fair amount of shimmer.  I tried to swatch it, but it didn't show up terribly well on my crappy webcam, though that's typical.
This eye tint is full sized and retails for $24 !  From the site:
An ingenious eye crème with a unique formulation that glides on as a crème and sets to a powder. This long-lasting, water-resistant, crease-resistant tint is easy to apply, offering adjustable levels of sheer to high pigment colour.
 I'll definitely be using this, as I love eye makeup, and I'm glad I got this lighter shade.

While many others got an eyeliner this month, I got this serum.  This 4 ml mini serum retails for $15 and is natural and free of parabens, which I like.  I have a lot of serums, so I don't know when I'll try this, but I'm sure I will at some point!  From the site:

True Natural Spa has your prescription for naturally glowing, youthful looking skin. Our Advanced Lift & Firm Serum improves skin clarity to immediately lift, firm and moisturize with all natural ingredients, tested for effective results while being gentle on your skin.
As I'm currently on a  quest to incorporate more natural, healthy products into my life and eliminate more and more nasty chemicals, this will probably come in handy for me.

And finally, the pur-lisse  pur-delicate gentle soy milk cleanser and makeup remover.  This is 1.7 oz, and the full size retails for $36, making this about an $11 value.  From the site:
Appreciate your skin, don’t irritate it. Cleanse away the day with this gentle, non~irritating blend of Soy Milk, Soy Proteins, Whole Oat and White Tea. A mild soap~free, non~foaming cleanser that respects the delicate nature of your skin. Leaves your face touchable and silky soft, without a trace of impurity. 
This seems nice and gentle and I love the size of the bottle, perfect to keep in my work bag in case I need it. (Yes, with my job, I do sometimes have to wash my face at work.  Perk of working in healthcare, I guess.)

So, all in all, this is a decent box with a value of about $55, which I can't complain about!  I have canceled Beauty Box 5 for now, due to budget needs, but I wish I didn't have to, and I would definitely consider re-subscribing in the future.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Traveling Sample Box

Several of us on the Makeup Talk forums were talking about how great it'd be to start a circular swap box for beauty samples, as we have so many sitting around we don't want or need, and it'd be a fast and efficient way to get rid of those and try new ones.  So, I started a group to get this organized!

Here's how these work:

We'll pick someone to start the box (this is usually someone with a LOT of samples to contribute).  They will pop everything they want to send in a flat rate box, make a list of what's in there, and send it to the next person on the list.  The next person will take out what they want and do the same, crossing off what they take and adding their contributions.  This will continue until the last person on the list gets the box, then they will send it back to the first person.  The first person can use anything unwanted they receive for the next round of boxes. 

Go here and join the group if you're interested in participating. It should be fun!

Review: Redken all soft argan-6 multi-care oil

Recently, I was given the opportunity to try Redken's argan oil product, and I jumped at the chance.  Argan oil (also known as moroccan oil) is all the rage lately, and people are raving about its miraculous effects on dry, damaged hair.

all soft is the consistency of a serum and promises to "intensely nourish and protect dry, brittle hair" and "provide concentrated softness and deep conditioning, and lasting suppleness", which sounds great to me.  According to Redken,

This one luxurious oil has six amazing uses for achieving silky softness: before you shampoo to moisturize, before you blow-dry to protect, after you blow-dry to smooth, on dry hair to enhance shine, added to treatments to soften or overnight to recondition.

My hair has always been a bit on the dry side, and while I try to baby it and I avoid heat styling, it is color treated and can always use a bit of help.  I decided to first use it to smooth and add shine, so I applied it after shampooing and towel drying.  Now, my hair tends to be a product hog - it is thick and about 6 inches past my shoulders, so it really soaks up most products.  This one, however, goes a long way!  Just one pump was enough for me to massage into my damp hair.

My hair felt noticeably softer as it dried!  The cuticles felt smooth, and my hair felt amazing without feeling at all greasy.  I pulled it into a loose ponytail and went to work, and actually got several compliments at work - my coworkers said my hair looked super shiny and healthy.  I was impressed!

Since then, I have tried this product before shampooing, on dry hair, and as an overnight treatment, and I can honestly say it performs well at all of these tasks!  I have been using this nearly daily for a month, and you can see from the above photo that I have plenty of product left.  This is my first time trying argan oil, and I can totally understand the hype now.

This is a 3 oz bottle and it seems to retail for about $19 in my area.  In my opinion, it is well worth the price, especially if you have hair that is prone to dryness.  I will definitely be buying this in the future, and I am interested in trying the rest of the all soft line, as well!

Rating:  5/5 stars.

*Disclaimer - I received a product free of charge for review.  I was not compensated, and my opinions are my own.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Look Bag for March

Since I can't resist these beauty subscription boxes, I signed up to try a month of The Look Bag.  I got my bag today!  It's definitely a good bag, and I got two full sized products, and the samples are decent sized as well.

The Look Bag is another subscription service much like Birchbox and Sample Society.  This one is affiliated with InStyle magazine and also costs $10 a month.  However, while Birchbox tends to focus on high end brands, this one focuses more on Indie/lesser known brands, which I think is awesome! These are truly things I would never have tried if not for the bag.  If you're interested, you can sign up here.

Here's what I saw when I pulled it out of the bubble mailer.  Cute little pink drawstring bag.

Like the other services, it came with a little card talking about the service.  I did wish that this had a list of my specific products on it, though, as I haven't been able to find any information about one of them!

This SheaTerra black soap is something I've been wanting to try for a while now. I've heard people rave about it and had considered buying the full size.  I'm glad I'm going to have a chance to try it out, now.  This is a 1 ounce sample.  The full size soap is 4 ounces and costs $18, so this sample has a value of $4.50. 

This is a handmade soap, which I LOVE.  IT is Lady Strawberry Mirror Skin soap in Goat's Milk and Oatmeal.  It's a good sized sample bar. Unfortunately, I can't find ANY information about this product on the internet.  Which is too bad, because I tried it out already, and I love it!  It has a sweet scent, almost vanilla-like.  One side is a little rough with oatmeal (yay, exfoliation!) and the other side is smooth.  I washed my face with this and I am impressed - my face is smooth and soft and not too dried out.  I was especially impressed with the ingredients of this bar, just glycerine, shea butter oil, vitamin E, goat's milk, oatmeal, beeswax, and oatmeal fragrance.  If you know anything about this brand, please let me know!

This is a ChicStix shave stick in Sweet Mango.  This is a full sized product!  I'm excited to try this, it smells great and definitely seems like a great, less messy alternative to shaving cream.  This retails for $9.

Frownies Facial Patches. I had never heard of facial patches before. Apparently these are meant to reduce wrinkles while you sleep!  A cool product.  I'm not sure how many are in this sample, but the full size retails for $19.95.

And finally, I received a full sized Cattiva Dolce Diva lip liner in Nude.  This lipliner is paraben free, waterproof, and anti-aging.  It retails for $20, and looks awesome.  I don't wear lipliner, but if I did, this seems like it'd be a great one.

I definitely think I got my $10 worth with this bag, and I love that these are almost all brand new brands to me.  I appreciate that the Look Bag is promoting smaller more independent companies, but I do wish they included more information on the products.  If you like the looks of this, definitely sign up!

March Birchbox - Teen Vogue edition

I realized yesterday I hadn't posted this month's Birchbox yet.  It arrived a couple of weeks ago, but I've been busy!  This is probably my favorite Birchbox to date.

Birchbox is a monthly beauty subscription.  It delivers 4-5 deluxe sized samples of high end beauty products.  While there are other subs like this out there, Birchbox remains my favorite, as the brands received are truly high end, and you always receive a variety.  Also, their customer service is top notch, and they have a great points system to help you earn free products/discounts.  If this interests you, you can sign up using my referral link, here.

This month, I chose the box Birchbox put together with Teen Vogue - despite not being a teen, I still love all things colorful and shiny, and it sounded like fun.  I'm glad I did!  This is a great box.

It came in it's usual cute box, but with a pink Teen Vogue wrapper.

It arrived with the usual card with a greeting, listing the contents.

I love that there's always a little package wrapped up like a present!

The first product I noticed was a full sized Tarte matte lip tint.  Love this! It's bubblegum pink and looks great with my pale skin.  It was damaged in transit, and their great customer service made it right for me right away.  This is the full sized product and it retails for $24.

I love getting perfume samples, and this one is nice.  Twirl by Kate Spade.  It's a pretty floral, and I probably wouldn't buy it, but I'm glad to get a chance to try it out.  The full size retails for $80.

The Kerastase Elixer Ultime was also brand new to me, and I have fallen in love with it!  It sinks into my hair and leaves it silky and shiny, without looking greasy. This is a good sized sample, and the full size retails for $54.

One of my favorite things was the coral colored Twistband. I LOVE these!  Hair ties basically made of pretty elastic ribbon, they hold my hair without being too tight, breaking or snagging or denting my hair.  I've been using this one daily.  A 12 pack costs $18.

I also got a full sized essie nail polish in As Gold As It Gets.  It's so pretty and sparkly!  I don't paint my nails often, but I love this color, and I've heard great things about essie.  It retails for $8.

All in all, this is an amazing Birchbox!  Two full sized products, and I will use everything in it. There was also a $10 for Modcloth, which will come in handy because I need some fun spring dresses. Yay!

So, yeah.  To me, Birchbox remains the gold standard among beauty subscription boxes.  Give it a shot if you haven't yet!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sample Society

A few days ago, I got the first Sample Society box from Beauty Bar, and I have to say I'm impressed! If you haven't heard of Sample Society, it's another monthly subscription service. This one is affiliated with Allure magazine and is run by Beauty Bar. This service offers 5 deluxe sized samples per month and costs $15. They also offer a free year of Allure magazine!  Each box also contains a coupon for $15 off a $50 order if you buy any of the brands in your box. Subscriptions are closed right now, but if this sounds good to you, you can sign up for the waiting list by going here.

The box arrives nicely packaged in a sleek black box with silver tissue paper. One nice thing about this service is that it is delivered via UPS, so shipping times are quick! The box is sturdy, and similar in size to Birchbox. I have kept the box to organize some of my beauty products.

Here's what I got this month after removing the packaging. As you can see, the sample sizes are great and I will be able to get many uses out of each one! This was great, because I hate the tiny one use sample packets. For most products, they just don't allow you to truly TRY the product.

The first sample is Fekkai Advanced Brilliant Glossing Cream.

From the site: "Having the kind of hair that makes heads turn ranks high on your list of must-haves. The kind that is actually as soft, smooth and supple as it looks. With Fekkai Advanced's Brilliant Glossing Cream and its tress-perfecting properties, you'll have hair that's the envy of everyone."

I have actually tried this before and it is excellent. You need only a tiny amount to have shiny, smooth hair. It doesn't look greasy or weigh your hair down, and tames frizzes and flyaways. It has a nice subtle scent to it. This sample is big enough to last months! The full size is 4 oz. and costs $22.

This was a product that is new to me! The Ren Glycolactic Skin Renewal Peel Mask.

From the site: "A potent bio active peel mask designed to renew the complexion, reduce the appearance of fine lines and dramatically improve skin tone. It also combats congestion, blackheads, and blemishes.
Removes dead skin cells to renew the complexion."

I tried this mask a couple of days ago, and I was really impressed with it. I have never used any sort of peel or peel mask, so I didn't know what to expect. It left my skin so satiny smooth, and the next day, it had a glow to it. It has a neutral citrusy scent and a slight tingle to it. This sample is definitely enough for several applications! The full size is 1.7 oz and costs $55.

This Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant is a sample that I was really wanting to try.

From the site: "Take your skin from blah to ahh with Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. This truly unique rice-based enzyme powder micro-exfoliates dulling debris and instantly leaves your skin noticeably smoother and brighter. The powder formula activates upon contact with water, releasing important properties to smooth your skin and accelerate cell renewal. Daily Microfoliant is formulated with a unique skin-brightening complex of elements to help balance uneven skin pigmentation. It's a supreme tool to calm inflammation, leaving your skin extraordinarily clear and refreshed."

I tried this for the first time this morning, and it's great. It was fun to use - it comes out as a powder, and you mix it with a little water in your hand and rub it into your skin. My skin feels smooth and clean, but it was gentle. The sample is big enough for quite a few uses. The full sized product is 2.6 ounces and costs $40.

This is at the Skyn Iceland Icelandic Relief Eye Pen.

From the site: "Icelandic relief eye cream's lightweight yet powerful formula, in a portable pen, delivers immediate relief to delicate under-eye skin that's most vulnerable to the effects of stress. The look of puffiness and dark circles is minimized while fine lines appear softer. The result? Your eye area is brightened for a refreshed and wide-awake look."

I have used this several times since I received it to battle my dark circles and sleep deprivation. While I can't tell for sure if it is helping the dark circles yet, it is very cooling and soothing to tired, puffy eyes and it does seem to lessen the puffiness. This is a full sized product, and it retails for $20.

Finally we got Esprit d'Oscar Eau de Parfum by Oscar De La Renta.

From the site: Esprit d'Oscar is a modern interpretation of Oscar de la Renta’s signature scent. Inspired by the chic and sophisticated women of today, Esprit d’Oscar is the spirit of femininity re-imagined in a timeless floral-oriental fragrance that is exceptionally feminine and sparkling in spirit.

When it comes to perfumes and fragrances, I generally prefer scents that are sweet or fruity or gourmand. This is a very clean floral scent. It's not my style, but it is a high quality fragrance and smells very sophisticated. I'll be using it once in a while to change things up. I was excited to get a mini rollerball instead of the teeny tiny vials you usually get with perfume samples. The full size of this is $78.

This is Sample Society's first box, and I think they did a great job of providing a variety of great sized deluxe samples. I'm enjoying everything I got this month, I got to try four new products I'd never tried, and I'm really looking forward to what they send out in the future.