Beauty Sample Boxes – Are they Worth Your Beauty Bucks?

I am a beauty sample box junkie – I admit it. When Mr. Modern asked the question “Are these packages worth the money every month?” I looked at him thinking – What a kinda crazy person asks these questions? How could I possibly live a month without my pretty sample packages with all their glorious goodies?
As my January beauty boxes were arriving in the mail last week I pondered Mr. Modern’s question again and decided to be a little (I said a little) logical about why I think sample subscriptions are my sweet little must have treat.

January Topbox

January Topbox

Topbox
Canadian Beauty Box • Monthly Fee of $12.60 • Automatically bills to your credit card each month • Monthly Delivery of Samples • Receive 4-5 trial size samples per month • Set up your own beauty profile so samples are specific to your beauty needs • Offers optional Topbox ‘top-ups’ each month for an additional fee or no cost

Topbox offers a variety of samples in a few beauty categories each month.  Hair, cosmetics, nails and skin care products are all part of the sampling that you can receive each month.  Samples are normally of products that are on the mid to high end price range on the beauty spectrum.  Sample brands that I have received over the past year are Keratase, Yves St. Laurent, Clinique, Benefit, Estee Lauder, Wella, Cover FX, Boscia.

Toxbox Wish List – each month Topbox emails and asks if you want to upgrade your Topbox to one of their specialty sample offerings for the particular month.  Sometimes the upgrade costs you a little extra money on top of your initial monthly fee and you can swap out your regular Topbox for a brand specific Topbox at no cost.  I rarely upgrade unless I see that the specialty box has enough items in it that I have really wanted to try.  The upgrades I have tried are the Estee Lauder Topbox and the Benefit Cosmetics Topbox (both at no extra cost).

I ♥ Topbox because they are Canadian, offer sample brands that I am interested in, upgrade options are always nice to have, they are really great at their email communication to keep the subscriber up to date on the mail outs and upgrade options.

January Ipsy Glam Bag

January Ipsy Glam Bag

Ipsy Glam Bag
American Beauty Bag  • Monthly Fee of $10.00 + $4.95 shipping for Canadian customers • Automatically bills to your credit card each month • Monthly Delivery of Samples • Receive 4-5 trial size samples per month • Set up your own beauty profile so samples are specific to your beauty needs • Samples are packaged in a cosmetics case

The Glam Bag most often sends out samples of cosmetics with the occasional skin care, nail and hair samples.  Since the Glam Bag is American, most often the samples included in the bag are of brands that I have not heard of or can’t purchase in Canada.  Sample Brands that I have received over the past year are J.Cat Beauty, Pop Beauty, Pixi, Be a Bombshell, Zoya Nail Polish, Glamglow, Coola.

Ipsy Glam Room – if you love social media and sharing your beauty thoughts you will love this option offered when you are subscriber.  As a subscriber you can share all things beauty in your Glam Room.  Each month you can review the products you receive by rating the product, writing a review, posting a picture or video on how you use the product.  The more you interact with the Glam Room the more Ipsy points you receive.  The Ipsy points you earn can be used towards additional products that you can add to your monthly Glam Bag.  If you love to interact via social media this may be the perfect extra for you.

I ♥ Ipsy Glam Bag because they send products that I have not tried before and are most often drug store brands that won’t break your beauty bank.  Plus I also receive an email containing coupon codes to shop the products that I received in the Glam bag to purchase the full size at a discounted price.
I have to admit that I am on the fence on my subscription for this one.  I find the products are interesting to try but after the first try I either don’t like the result or the color is not great for me so the sample is often wasted or passed onto my Mini’s.  I also find that with each month I receive a new cosmetics case (which is what the samples are packaged in) – while this is a very nice touch I find that I now have a drawer overflowing with cosmetics cases that I will never use.

Luxe Box

Luxe Box

Loose Button Luxe Box
Canadian Beauty Box • Samples are sent Quarterly • Annual Fee of $96.00 (works out to $24.00 per quarterly sample) • receive 7-8 trial size beauty products per quarter • Set up your own beauty profile so samples are specific to your beauty needs • Upgrade Options

The Luxe Box is the higher end sample box of the three that I receive.  Luxe Box offers hair, cosmetics, nail, make-up brushes and skin care products as all part of the sampling that you can receive on a quarterly basis.  Sample brands that I have received over the past year are Keratase, L’Occitane, Kiehl’s, Essie, Olay, Covergirl, Pantene, Joico, Cliniqe, Yves St. Laurent.

Luxe Box Boutique – Luxe Box offers upgrades to their samples just like the Topbox.  Luxe Box and Loulou magazine partner together and has offer a Loulou Luxe Box which I have tried and loved – the upgrade was $5.25 and well worth it.  You can also purchase Luxe Box Limited Edition Luxe boxes from the boutique.   

I ♥ Luxe Box for similar reasons as the Topbox.  Luxe Box is Canadian, offer sample brands that I am interested in, upgrade options are always nice to have, are really great at their email communication to keep the subscriber up to date on the mail outs and upgrade options.  Their online features are not as fancy as the Topbox or Ipsy’s but the online aspect is just icing on the cake as far as I’m concerned.

The answer to Mr. Modern’s question – Are beauty boxes worth the money?
Heck ya!  My beauty mind is always open to try something new so the samples are a fun way to explore and try a variety of different products.  Some of the samples in the boxes that I receive are items that I would have purchased at the full size price (just to try) and I find that the samples last a long time so I don’t have to go out and purchase a full size for a long time since the sample lasts so long.  Example:  I haven’t had to purchase face cream in a very long time as I had received a few face cream samples so I cycle through those samples and by the time they are done… I will probably have another face cream sample arrive in the mail.  It’s a beautiful thing and results in less trips to Sephora for me….

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Sample Sunday – Covergirl Outlast and Zoya Nail Laquer Beauty Review

I think I ‘nailed’ this weeks Sample Sunday.  Since I paint my nails regularly (they are rarely naked) this weeks sample was a no brainer and part of my regular routine.  I had received two nail polish samples – one a drug store brand and one a specialty brand.  Which one will last the longest without chipping?  I will have to wait and see…

Covergirl and Zoya Polish 1My two sample subjects were: Covergirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Gloss (Grapevine) and Zoya Professional Laquer (Giovanna).  I tested both out together – thankfully anything goes with our nails – and both nail colors were stunning together.

Over the week of my various activities both nail polishes were worth my time and effort. After all the house chores, office work, and play with the Minis,  my nails were still looking good after a week.

Both colors lasted a full 7 days without showing any signs of significant wear and tear. The first sign of chipping occurred after the 7th day (Covergirl Outlast was the first to chip) so I cannot complain… even a little.  If I wanted to get picky I could nitpick about the application of each polish, but even that isn’t worth too much.  The Zoya polish’s brush is slimmer and allows for more precise application while the Covergirl’s brush is wider and I found the tip of the brush bulky so the application was a little less precise.  Coverage of both the polishes was equal – both could have worked on one coat alone but the second coat really made both pop off the nail.

Covergirl and Zoya Polish collage

I ♥ both of the polishes.  The colors are bright and beautiful and I know I can count on both to carry me through of week of fuss free nails.