Tag Archives: samples

Once, Twice, Three Times with Sassy…

17 Feb

3+
Without researching, I would be willing to say that there are over a million different makeup, skin care, hair and nail products on the market. That doesn’t even include the various colors and formulas of many of them. It is not easy for a company to get a consumer to buy a product once. The money they put into television and print advertising is beyond comprehension. Now, to hold the customer’s interest with eye-catching displays, money-saving deals, and quality results in order to get them to be a repeat customer is pretty amazing. After that, it’s a crap shoot. The cosmetic company now hopes they have gained your loyalty and business. They hope you love it so much that you would not even consider shopping out the product and buy it a third time—THAT is a cosmetic company’s dream come true, and an accomplishment beyond words.

I can totally relate to this as a glamour junkie. Commercials, displays, magazine ads and samples could literally get me to jump the fence on almost anything I use with the right tactics. Even if I’m thrilled with the product I am currently using, I can justify in my head and heart to try something else, even if it’s just once. But really… isn’t that what the cosmetic companies want? Just a chance? They know I’ll either say, “Wow, this is the best xxx I have ever used! Why haven’t I been using this before? I’ll never use anything else ever again!” Or I will give it an immediate thumbs down, kick myself for being a traitor to the product I had been using before, beg for glamour forgiveness and go back to using the one I had loved all along. Not to mention, with me winning contest prizes, getting products to try or review, or sending away for samples for me to try on my own, I’m always getting “teased” with things that are new, improved or could be better. That’s what the companies are hoping for. Some times, I admit, it works. But for a few products, I won’t even bother to deviate. I stick with what I love. Not just once, or even twice…. but have bought them three times or more because to me, they far exceed anything else I have tried or tested. I have found they truly are my favorites at what they do.

So what are these heart stealers that have shown me that “third time’s a charm”? Here are my ultimate favorite products that you will always find somewhere in my beauty ensemble, either in my drawers or on my vanity:

OleFoam**Ole Henriksen’s African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser** – Having sensitive skin has made finding the perfect cleanser difficult for me. I want something that washes my face, fights aging and doesn’t strip it of its natural oils, drying out my skin. I have tried a LOT of cleansers, I fell in love with Ole’s African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser after their customer service department sent me a sample because I thanked them for their “Three Little Wonders” box set I got for a holiday gift one year, which stole my heart. The cleanser immediately became my favorite face wash. My skin felt and looked noticeably healthier, it didn’t irritate or make my skin burn, and the foaming formula really made it so you didn’t need a ton. Plus, in combination with Ole’s other products I had, I really noticed an overall improvement in my face’s skin. I have been using the African Red Tea cleanser pretty consistently for over two years now. Even though I have tried a sample of other cleansers here and there, I always use Ole’s at least once a day. Happy to say, I’m on my fourth bottle! (Available at Sephora, $30)

BurtsBeesHandCream**Burt’s Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Cream** – I never used to be a hand cream kind of girl. I never had to be. My hands never got dry, cuticles were healthy and I had no problems. Then came this year. I don’t what changed but my cuticles turned into corn flakes, my hands felt dry and the tops of my hands looked…old !!(*GASP!*). Oh no, no, no. My years in the cosmetic and skin care industry taught me that your eyes and your hands can tell people your age better than your driver’s license can. The minute I felt my hands drying out, I went looking for something good. I tried several simple “squeeze” lotions for my hands, but they didn’t seem to keep them moist for too long. Burt’s Bees caught my eye because of the Almond Milk in the name. I love the scent of almonds and know that almond oil is fabulous for moisturizing skin naturally. The beeswax is perfect to lock it into the skin and really keeps the hands, nails and cuticles soft. And the scent is to die for! I just dove into my third jar last night—and I’ve only been using it since November! (Available at most drugstores, $9)

TreeHut**Tree Hut Brazillian Nut Shea Body Butter** – The more natural you can keep your health and beauty products, the better they are for your body. I have always turned to almond or coconut oil to keep my body soft after a bath. In the colder months, however, I need something a bit more rich when my skin begins to get dry and itchy. I saw a review for Tree Hut’s Body Butter on a review site once, and remembered seeing the product at my regular retail store, so I thought I would look into it a bit more. It had my two favorite natural moisturizers that I love in it: shea butter and cocoa butter. In addition, it also contained Brazil nut and safflower seed oil, both rich in vitamins and antioxidants which help to keep the skin healthy. The smell is divine… like a yummy latte from your favorite coffee shop! I like the fact that it is not a liquid or a lotion—it is a solid “butter” which goes on thick and melts into the skin. This leaves the skin soft and moisturized for a long time. Since I first discovered this about four years ago, I have purchased at least six jars of this gem. Currently I have one in my bathroom AND bedroom! (Available at some local retailers or drugstore.com, $7.49)

NYCliner**New York Color Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil** – Eyeliners are a dime a dozen. I’ve seen some liners as cheap as 99 cents and some as expensive as $30. It is not too difficult for me to describe what I want in an eyeliner. The problem is… finding it. I want a DARK black pencil that I can sharpen myself so I can get a crisp, tight line. It has to be soft enough to go on with ease but tough enough to not smudge or run. And it has to last—I mean LAST ALL DAY last. Shouldn’t be too hard to find, right? Ha, that’s you think. I have tried so many liners over the years, it’s crazy. The fact is I’ll probably continue to try different liners, depending on the look I am going for. But if someone said I had to grab ONE liner to use for the rest of my life? I’d take NYC’s Waterproof Eyeliner. It can sharpened to a good point, soft enough not to tug at my eyes, cry-proof, rain-proof, sweat-proof and even swim-proof. It. Stays. Put. No smudging, no running. Even though I have tried gels, liquids, minerals and kohl liners for different looks, my go-to everyday no-fail eyeliner will always be NYC’s. Oh, and by the way? It won’t drain your wallet. And that is always a plus! (Available at Walmart & other retailers, $3.99)

I can’t deny that I don’t like to try new things. I’m a girl. It’s not just my nature but it’s also my job! There is nothing wrong with seeing what is out there. What is good for me may not be good for you. And what is good for you might just be what I am looking for! Times and styles are constantly changing so it is expected that cosmetics are going to change right along with it. These items I mentioned might be my go-to products for what I am looking for right now, but who knows if they will even be available in a year! I’d like to hope so, but in case they aren’t, I need to keep track of what other options are out there in case I need to switch. But today?…I am pretty content with these products for their specific purpose and will love ‘em till they are gone!

How about you? I am sure you have a couple of “must have” items of your own. No matter what else is out there, you will use them regardless of the competition. Are they makeup items—a favorite lipstick color? A blush? What about skin care—an eye cream? A moisturizer? Maybe it’s a nail polish remover. Or a can’t-live-without hairspray. Let me know what items are staples in your routine and I’ll let you know if I agree!

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Sampling Some Samples – January…

6 Feb

Samples
Companies know us women are suckers for samples. When it comes to playing makeup, we are never too old! Just about every month, I consider myself to be blessed that I am on so many “try before you buy” sample lists. Some are ones I request from advertised offers, others are new products I won, some are gifts with purchases, and others are trial offers. Doesn’t matter to me… I LOVE to play with new products. I think a good number of my favorite skin care and glamour products came to me through a trial or sample somehow. What is nice is I get to see if I like a product enough to buy it in a full size without worrying about the monetary commitment. This is especially helpful with high end makeup and skin care items as well as expensive fragrances.

January was no different. Trials and samples came rolling in, just like it was Christmas still. Every trip to the mailbox was like a trip to the mall of freebies! Here are just a few of the samples I got last month that caught my eye (and nose and skin) as well as my thoughts on if I’d consider them for a future purchase or not:

YSLMascYves-Saint-Laurent Mascara Volume Effect Faux Cils Shocking – I am pretty lucky. I have good lashes. My only problem? They are pretty straight and light in color. Curling is a necessity no matter what. But if I can find a mascara to give them some extra pop with a little extra length, volume and color, I’m pretty happy. YSL’s Shocking mascara gave me just that. After two coats with its easy to control brush and then a tight curl with my lash curler, it really gave my eyes the look of wearing false lashes! The mascara wore true all day and didn’t smudge, clump or flake. Something I noticed with this mascara that I hadn’t seen in others? The black color was shiny, almost patent-leather shiny! It really gave my eyes a more dramatic look. Although I was a fan of the sample, I would have to seriously fall in love with it to pay the high end price. Still… I liked this mascara A LOT!
Available at Sephora for $30

BillBoyfriendKate Walsh’s “Billionaire Boyfriend” Perfume – If thoughts of diamonds, yachts, and dreams of wealth and glamour consume your mind throughout the day, this might be a scent for you to try. This high-floral scent with oriental influences has notes black jasmine, velvet orchid, gardenia and patchouli flower. Even as the scent dries down, its back notes of sandalwood and golden amber keep it rich. It is a forward, bold yet pretty scent and it does last. Personally, however I have never been a high floral-scented perfume person. I lean more towards citrus-based fragrances. If you are a fan of strong-scented, sophisticated, warm scents, you might really like this. Me?.. I have to pass.
Available at Sephora for $65

BFTEBeauty From The Earth Mineral Eye Shadow in “Suede” – Last month, BFTE had a special on their sample jars for only one dollar each. It was a new year and I thought I needed to try some new colors to spice up my makeup look. I went outside my comfort zone and grabbed some colors that were going to be hot this year and that were very new to me. When my order came, I was so loving the new colors I had selected. I was also delighted to see that BFTE sent me a sample of one of their other colors. “Suede” is a high shimmer light grey with a touch of taupe that makes it a great highlighter with any color shadow. For a real wow look, wear it alone with a bold liner like a purple or bronze. Here I had ten great uber chic colors that just arrived and I couldn’t stop playing with the speck of shadow in the little plastic baggie!! We will have to see how much I like the colors I did get as the days go by, but right now it’s the freebie that has my interest for a future buy!
Available at BFTECosmetics.com for $6.50

ChanelChanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner – I’ve been wearing eyeliner since I was 16. It is a must have in my makeup routine. Always black, always waterproof and always a pencil that I can sharpen to a crisp point. When I got this pencil to try, it was pretty much a fail on every thing I wanted in a liner. It >was waterproof. But that was about it. Sure, it had a high-ticket name brand, but if it wasn’t what I liked, it wasn’t going to matter. Since the pencil came in a purple-ish bronze color called “Grenat”, I thought it might be nice to try it with BFTE’s sample! Wow… what a stunning look! The liner went on very smooth with a crisp line (even with the self-sharpening pencil.) The color was bold and classy and it gave me a very unique look that was new to me. As to its wear power? All day is an understatement! The liner stayed true, did not smudge, and looked as good when I took it off as it did when I put it on even after all day wear. The good points are it is easy to use, stays put, didn’t irritate my eyes with my lenses and comes in a LARGE array of colors. Its downside? The price. Since I have been wearing liner since 16, I am guilty of saying I don’t think I have paid more than $10 for a liner. However, with the Chanel liner’s stay power, ease of application, and a variety of colors for different looks? I’d seriously consider purchasing another one in the future.
Available at Macy’s for $30

A new month is here and samples, trials and winnings are already rolling in at my house. This is going to be a fun month for testing out new things in my beauty routine. I should have lots of reviews and opinions for you next month. How about you? Did you try or sample anything new recently? Did you like it? Would you buy it in the future? Let me and my other Sass-inistas know! We always want to hear about what our friends have tried recently and what we think! Seriously… don’t we just love to give our opinions whenever possible? So share away!!

Getting Sample Crazy!!!

4 Oct

It is without a doubt that women love free samples. We act like it’s Christmas when we go to the mailbox and inside are colorful packets, tubes, bottles and squares of mini versions of what’s hot on the market. Sometimes we actually try them and like them so much that we go out and invest in the full sized product. Other times, we stash them in the bottom drawer of the bathroom for those “just in case” moments. Then there are times we just love the little buggers so much, we create a new name online and get more of the sample so we have something to put in our overnight bag.

 I recently asked a few of my blogger girlfriends to tell me where they go to get hot new samples. I also wanted to know what sample they got recently and fell in love with. Fell in love so hard that they actually wasted no time to go and buy the full sized product. I found that some discovered their new finds just recently, while others have been faithful after using the sample for many, many years. Here’s what they had to say:

Lancome’s Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover: “I got a small bottle [as] a gift with purchase and fell in love. It’s so gentle! I wear waterproof eye makeup every day and Bi-Facil makes it so easy to remove.” –Carol (age 48)

MD Skincare’s All-In-One Facial Cleanser With Toner: “Whenever I get samples of cleansers, I’m very hesitant to try them since my skin is so sensitive. I got a few sample packets when I was at my Sephora retail store a few weeks back. After one day I was in love! It’s very mild and can be used for all skin types. It’s cleans very thoroughly but is not drying at all. I bought the full size within a week! –Tammy (age 29)

Clinique All About Eyes Rich: “I swear, that stuff helped me get over a black eye fairly quick! I did buy the full size.” –1shell1

Beauty Bliss Cosmetic’s Original Mineral Foundation: “I told my friend I was in search of a good loose mineral foundation without any talc in it, because my face had become super sensitive. She suggested I try BBC’s foundation. It isn’t available in retail stores and can only be bought online. They offer samples of ANY of their mineral products at only $1.25 each. And the samples come in decent-sized jars! It’s nice to be able to try different shades without investing a ton. This foundation is amazing. Great coverage and I can match my skin tone perfectly. I’ll never use anything else.” –Lyn (age 42)

 Clinique’s Naturally Glossy Mascara: “I remember going to the mall with my Aunt when I was about 14 and she gave me the gift she got with her purchase. In it was a little green tube…and I tried it on in the car, I was in love. It was smooth and shiny and clump free and so black. I bought my first full sized tube not long after that, and that slim silver tube has occupied my makeup drawer ever since!” -Sally (age 25)

mark. Eye Shadows: “I have had bad luck with eye shadows not lasting so without the samples I most likely would not have tried them. These are really the best.” –Melissa (age 31)

mark. Glow Baby Glow Lip Gloss: I got the sample of [this lip gloss] and ordered the full size. It lasts, has a natural color, and a great minty smell.” –Four4Me

Make Up For Ever’s HD Microfinish Powder: “When I got my sample…I almost gave it away but after using it I can’t imagine I went without before. I ordered the full size.” – Melissa (age 31) and “I love the MUFE HD powder too! I was a bit skeptical of the whiteness–but it’s really a great powder, I won’t use anything else now.” –Coalieluv

Bumble & Bumble’s Prep Spray, Thickening Spray & Thickening Shampoo: “My salon in Maine converted to a B&B salon and my stylist gave me a few samples to try. I’ve been hooked ever since. Prep Spray is my HG [holy grail] hair product. And I don’t even want to know what my hair would look like without Thickening Spray at the roots.” –Nicole (age 31)

Vera Wang’s Fragrance Princess: “I would smell the perfume all the time in magazine ads and every time I did, I would think to myself, ‘Man I MUST get some of this! It smells divine!’ It got to the point when I could just get a waft of it and I would immediately know it was Vera Wang Princess. I love the smell THAT much. So, I finally went and bought the biggest size Nordstroms had and I have never regretted it. It’s light, fresh and feminine, yet musky and sophisticated at the same time.” –Julie (age 22)

Very often you can find samples of all kinds of goodies at your local cosmetic stores or the counter at fine department stores. Don’t be afraid to ask! Many of the associates work on commission and your new addiction could be a bump in their paycheck meaning they’d be MORE than willing to help you out. If you aren’t out and about that much and find that your computer is your shopping heaven, click below to try out the following websites for cool samples too:

www.freesamplesblog.com (a great listing of free samples of ALL kinds!)
Wal-Mart Samples (everything from perfume to tampons—depends on the week)
Beauty Bliss Cosmetics (good sized, inexpensive samples of mineral foundation, blush & eye shadows)
mark. Cosmetics (if you ask nice, the rep may send you goodies!)
and of course… www.sephora.com (my favorite shopping heaven!)