Beauty Sample Websites Reviewed & My Favorite Recent Beauty Products Sampled

August 15, 2013
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Reviews of Top Beauty Sampling Programs - Birchbox, Beauty Army and ipsyI’ve been a beauty sampling fiend lately and am currently a member of three beauty sampling programs – Birchbox, Beauty Army and ipsy.

My favorite company is still Birchbox because I not only love the variety of products and brands they offer, but also because they have a really great rewards program where you earn can points toward free products for reviewing samples, shopping, and referring your friends. Because of their rewards system, I’m able to purchase products that normally wouldn’t be within my price range. I’ve been with Birchbox the longest and most of my boxes have included at least one full size product. They also recently revamped their profile questions to help narrow down what types of samples you receive. Boxes are $10 a month.

Not long after signing up with Birchbox, I also signed up with Beauty Army. Beauty Army is different because it allows you to choose your own samples based on your profile. And if you don’t like the selection of samples you are given, you can change your profile to get different sample results. Generally they include one full size product in with the mix of samples and you can choose up to six samples every month. If you don’t like the sample choices for a particular month or are low on spending money, you can easily skip a month and you won’t be charged. They also have a rewards program to earn a % off your purchase and free monthly kits. Boxes are $12 a month.

ipsy is a little different – and it shows my age I suppose that I don’t really participate in sharing my beauty looks on YouTube – where you receive a monthly cosmetic bag filled with samples. Generally there are several full sized products within these bags with bag styles changing from month to month. I’ve only been with ipsy for two months at this point and wasn’t very excited about the selection in my first bag as it didn’t really contain products I would use. However, I did read from other members that the longer you are a member the more customized your bags become, so I stuck with it into the second month and was very pleasantly surprised. Every product I received in my second bag was something that I will use. You just need to remember to give feedback on the products you receive and whether it’s something you like and would want to receive more of based on brand, color, and type of product. The products in the bags are curated by Michelle Phan – and to be honest I have no idea who that is though you may – and while there’s not really a rewards program – you are directed to the manufacturers’ websites with a coupon code should you choose to make a purchase – you can receive free bonus items in your monthly bags for referring your friends. Bags are $10 a month.

So wondering what’s been in my beauty sample boxes recently? Below are a few of my recent favorites.

Must Have Beauty Products from Top Beauty Sample Programs1. SKIIN Instant Skin Tightener & Line Filler sampled via Beauty Army :: This product is coined “Plastic Surgery in a Bottle” and I have to admit it does a great job. Not only does it tightens sagging skin and help to smooth creases and wrinkles, but I also found that it was pretty amazing at getting rid of shine.

2. ModelCo Party Proof Lipstick Trio sampled via Birchbox :: This product comes as a trio of lipsticks available in Neutral (pictured) and Classic shades. I received a full size lipstick in my latest box in the neutral shade called “Kitty” and just fell in love. This lipstick gives just enough color to perfect my look without looking “made up” and it smells like a heavenly blend of sweet fruits. The long lasting formula glides on smooth and moisturizing and unlike other long lasting lipsticks and stains, it doesn’t dry your lips out.

3. Michael Todd True Organics Jojoba Charcoal Scrub sampled via ipsy :: This organic facial scrub is formulated with jojoba wax beads and activated charcoal to aid in removal of dead skin, impurities and toxins. It very gently exfoliates without scratching sensitive skin and leaves your face feeling fresh and clean, not oily. The activated charcoal is also perfect for helping to prevent acne and the ingredients are suitable for for all skin types

4. Supergoop Daily Correct SPF 35 CC Cream purchased via Birchbox :: Supergoop is the first CC Cream I’ve ever tried and I fell in love instantly. I have very fair skin and and it often looks red and blotchy without anything on it. This product corrects and evens out my skin tone, offers SPF protection and is works great alone or under foundation or other makeup. It’s also easy to blend and is fragrance free. I love how great my skin looks after applying this!

Natural Beauty and Skin Care Products Sampled Via The Top Three Beauty Sample Programs5. Pixi Lash Booster Mascara sampled via ipsy :: This smudge free mascara goes on evenly and doesn’t clump, giving you great waterproof coverage. It’s available in Blackest Black (which I received) and Blackest Blue which awakens the eyes and makes the whites of the eyes appear whiter. Vitamin E and carnauba wax nourish lashes while simethicone provides a smooth glide.

6. Pure Marula Facial Oil sampled via Beauty Army :: This natural oil provides intense hydration, protection and rejuvenation. I’m currently using this sample under my eyes to help keep wrinkles away. Interestingly enough this oil has the highest content of anti-oxidants vs. Argan and other oils tested.

7. Pacifica Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream sampled via ipsy :: This super sheer, lightweight BB cream moisturizes and illuminates skin. It can be layered to build coverage or used as a primer underneath makeup. Alone it gives skin a soft, dewy glow. Similar to a tinted moisturizer, I love that this product is all natural with ingredients like coconut water, sweet iris leaf extract, damascus rose extract, white tea extract and aloe.

8. Bikini Soft Shave Oil & Razor Shaver sampled via Beauty Army :: I sampled the Bikini Soft Smooth Shave Oil and was tickled pink. This shave oil isn’t a goopy, sticky foam, yet it gives you a close shave without knicks, cuts and razor burn while leaving legs soft, smooth and moisturized. It’s formulated from all natural oils prized for their moisturizing properties and skin softeners that tone and restore.

9. Benefit Chachatint sampled via Birchbox :: I thought this product was a little weird at first. It’s very thin but also, surprisingly, very effective. It can be used both as a cheek and lip stain to give you a sheer, sun kissed look. I love the natural looking color it adds to lips and it’s staying power.

Fabulous Beauty Products for Skin and Hair10. Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream sampled via Birchbox :: I love this cream for under my eyes as it provides rich moisture that lasts and works better than more expensive brand under eye anti-wrinkle creams. Not only does it contain skin repairing ingredients, but it also provides prescription-quality relief for conditions like eczema and redness, as well as dry skin.

11. theBalm cosmetics InStain Long Wearing Powder Staining Blush sampled via Birchbox :: I sampled this in Swiss Dot (Peach) and while it’s not a color I typically would wear – I tend to lean towards berry colors for lips and cheeks – I actually liked the way it looked against my pale skin. The sample size is one that will last for months on end as a little goes a long way.

12. Davines Oi/Oil Absolute Beautifying Potion sampled via Birchbox :: I sampled this hair all along with the Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner and was completely in love. The shampoo and conditioner samples lasted through a week of daily shampoos and left my hair ultra smooth and shiny while the Davines Oil helped tame frizz brought on by an excessively humid summer. It did the job of what generally requires the use of multiple products to achieve.

Are you a member of any sampling programs beauty related or otherwise? I’d love to hear about them!


  • Kim @ 2justByou

    August 22, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    I’m a birchbox member, but I’ve been thinking about joining ipsy as well. But I just recently signed up for a two-month trial of Pretty Box. Pretty Box is different because it’s all handmade, so I kinda like that aspect.
    I bought the SuperGoop from birchbox too!

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