I'm so excited to review my first sample subscription package! (Well, it's not really a subscription, but more on that later.)
I actually have not subscribed to a sample service before. I was shopping services recently when I learned that TotalBeauty.com was going to start one. I really like the web site, so I had to get in on the first box.
The Total Beauty Collection boasts:
- 4-6 samples from top-rated luxury brands
- $15/box includes shipping
- no subscription required
- special offers on the full-size products
This is actually not a subscription, and it's not exactly monthly. I'd say there was about 3 weeks between the sale of the first and second boxes. I have no idea how regular this is going to be. How it works is, you sign up for the newsletter alerts, and TB sends you emails when the next box is available. The box is then on sale until supplies run out. It arrived really quickly after I placed my order, but that could be because I'm close to their distribution center in Ohio.
I was very pleased with my first box, though it got mixed reviews on TB's Facebook. Here's what was inside:
Alterna Bamboo Luminous Shine Mist (0.85oz, deluxe sample size)
From the bottle: "Instantly add polish and brilliant shine to any hair type. This weightless finishing spray eliminates frizz and flyaways. Infused with Color Hold technology for color retention. Free of parabens, phthalates, gluten, synthetic color, mineral oil and petrolatum."
It didn't so much eliminate my flyaways, but it gave me great shine. (A tip for products like this: instead of spraying it directly on your hair, which may cause a greasy look, spray 1-3 sprays on your hands, then work it through.) I also LOVE that it protects my color. I really like products that do double-duty. At $18 for a 4oz full-size (Sephora.com), I could see myself splurging on this. No "special offer" was given for this product.
June Jacobs Green Tea and Cucumber Body Balm (1.6 oz, deluxe sample)
From the bottle: Free of parabens, preservatives, synthetic dyes and sulfates.
The thing I liked the most about this body balm was the scent. Most cucumber-y fresh scents fade quickly, but this lasted almost all day without being overwhelming. It moisturized really nicely, but I wasn't blown away. The $50 price tag for a 7oz (junejacobs.com) bottle keeps this one in the "rich fantasy life" category, even with the 25% off code TB included.
Blinc Mascara (0.141oz sample, black)
This one came in Brichbox awhile back and was reviewed by Justina in "Battle of the Tube Mascaras." I will just say, it was neat to try a tube mascara, and I will be saving my sample for special occasions. It's a nifty concept but I dig my drugstore mascara too much to start spending $26 a pop on the regular. TB included a code for 20% off at Blinc.com
Pevonia Botanica, $15 gift card
This is the item that caused controversy. Some customers were upset that the box included a gift card to a company that sold expensive products. I was a little disappointed at first too, but I browsed the web site and found full-size products in almost every price range (about $16-$125+) AND Pevonia provides free shipping and samples on every order.
I chose the Aromatherapy Facial Oil for Dry, Devitalized skin. It's usually $24 but I paid $9, got free shipping and 5 free samples! I haven't tried any of them yet, but stay tuned for a full review!
I was really happy with my first Total Beauty Collection, so much in fact that I ordered the second one and it arrived today! More on that later :)
Yours in Beauty,
P.S. I have changed my blog site! Follow me at Redhead Records where I write about music, culture, entertainment, beauty, marriage, and ideas.