The Haute Professor

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High End Samples for a Low End Price

Every month I get super excited when it is time for my Birchbox to arrive. I have had the Birchbox subscription for almost three years now (hard to believe) and it has fed my hunger for high end beauty products without breaking the bank. For those unfamiliar with it, Birchbox is a monthly subscription service for beauty samples. You pay $10 a month and you get a box with 5 to 6 samples to try. The samples are from more expensive companies and represent a wide range of products. For example, this month I got a nail polish, a full-sized mascara, a pedicure foot scrub, a lip balm, and a hair spray. Through Birchbox I have discovered some of my now favorite products (including my BB cream favorites which I use every day and will be writing a post on later).  However, it is a gamble. It is always possible that you may hate every single product that you get sent! In fact this month, I am not crazy about the nail polish color (though I’m going to give it a shot) or the foot scrub.  For that reason, I suggest the following to fulfill your beauty sample dreams.

Every once in a while (it seems like every season actually), Hautelook does a “beauty bag” filled with samples. Hautelook is a Nordstrom company so the samples are high end beauty products carried at Nordstrom stores. You know in advance what will be included in the bag so you can decide whether or not you want to purchase it. In the spring, I bought the bag at full price ($20, $25 with shipping and handling) and was very happy with the products. I bought in then mostly because there were two products in it that I knew would pay for the bag and then some. One was a product that I love and use all the time (Suki lemon exfoliator) and one was a Lorac full-sized mascara that I wanted to try. It ended up being totally worth it. There were a few other products in it then I ended up really enjoying and all in all it was a good experience.

This summer they also put out a beauty bag and I seriously considered it because there were some things I was interested in trying BUT I decided that this time around I didn’t think it was worth the $25 investment. So I waited (I hope you’re getting the hint here that patience is a virtue when it comes to deal shopping). Then a few weeks ago they put all the beauty bags from the last year on sale for $10 each ($15 with shipping). At that price I could happily say yes please! And I’m really pleased. Below is a list of the products I received and my brief thoughts on them.

Aveda Hand Relief Cream: I love a good hand cream. This one smells nice and really seems to do the job. I know I’ll appreciate this more when the weather gets colder.

Ahava Firming Body Cream: I tried this just this morning so I can’t speak to its “firming” claims, but it seemed nice and I’ll give it a go!

EmiJay hair band: This is one of those “ouchless” hair bands that you can wear on your wrist like a bracelet. It’s a nice orangey color, nice for fall. I like these so I’m sure I’ll get good use out of it.

Kate Summerville Tanning Towelettes for body: I have to say this and the next product were not things I was excited about because I am not a self-tanner/or a regular tanner. I just can’t get into it. I hate the smell and I hate the look. However, I have heard good things about this company and am willing to give it a shot.

XenTan for face: See above

Napoleon Perdis Face Primer: This is a primer for under foundation. I usually skip this since I don’t usually wear heavy foundation, but I will try this when I have a long conference day or another long event (I have a wedding to go to in a few weeks so I might try this then).

Sole Goddess “foot balm”: I forgot this was in the bag until it arrived and when I saw it I must admit that I laughed and thought it was stupid. Then I tried it… wow.  This stuff is awesome! You put this on your feet to prevent blisters when you’re wearing uncomfortable shoes. It actually works though I have no idea how! I will be buying more of this!

Supergoop CC Cream: I love this product (I have the full size which I purchased after trying a Birchbox sample months ago) and I’m just delighted to have another little extra sample. These are nice to take traveling!

Estee Lauder Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara: The packaging on this is just adorable! And I actually really do like this mascara. I would never buy it full-sized because it is ridiculously overpriced but it is nice to play with!

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer: This was the main reason I wanted this sample bag. I have wanted to try this product for over a year! Everyone raves about it online! I just couldn’t justify the expense when I’m already happy with my BB/CC cream routine. Unfortunately, I don’t think it lives up to the hype. So far I much prefer my BB creams to this tinted moisturizer, though I will give it a try for a few more days to decide.

Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip & Cheek Stain in Forever Pink: OMG this is the best product in this bag. Mom, if you’re reading this you would LOVE this product! Basically, it looks rather odd in the tube (which is adorable, look how tiny and cute that little tube is!) but when you put it on your lips it reacts to your body chemistry and stains your lips a really nice pink. It is different on everyone, but on me it’s a mid-tone pink that just looks very natural. I am tempted to buy this in a full-size though it is VERY pricey ($25). For now, I will just enjoy my sample.

So lots of nice things to play with! And they all come in a cute little makeup bag which is also great for travel.

I highly recommend trying one of these out, especially if a couple of the products really speak to you. It’s a fun way to try some products you’ve wanted to try and some you didn’t know you wanted to try (ahem Jane Iredale!). And you can’t beat that price!


The Haute Professor


Filed under HauteLook beauty products beauty samples jane iredale supergoop! sole goddess bargain