Archives – Heather N King

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Sample Society Box for October 2012

     My first Sample Society box from with Allure arrived on Friday, but I didn’t have a chance to test the goodies or review them until today. I’m a sucker for great packaging. What a pretty box! Here we go!

     Nice presentation. It came with a little booklet that listed each of the products found inside the box as well as their full size prices. Here’s the list:

  • JANE IREDALE – Tantasia Self Tanner – Full size, $36
  • KATE SOMERVILLE – Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment – Full size, $85
  • AROMACHOLOGY – Clean & Fresh Eau de Parfum – Full size, $100
  • OSCAR BLANDI –  Pronto Wet Hair Care – Full size, $24
  • ERNO LASZLO – Phormula 3-9 Repair Balm – Full size, $245
  • HERBAN ESSENTIALS – Lavender Towelette

     Ok! I am officially glad that I signed up for a Sample Society box subscription. After seeing the price tags of the full size items that correspond to these samples, it’s clear that I most likely would not have otherwise had the chance to try some of these items out. At first glance, I knew there were some items that I wouldn’t normally use; but then I decided that I would still give everything at least one try. How else can I review them otherwise?

      The first item I tried was the Oscar Blandi –  Pronto Wet Hair Care. I wasn’t too excited about this sample since this is a volumizing shampoo and I wear my hair very short. How short? This short:

This is how short I wear my hair.

      But like I said, I decided to go ahead and try it out in the shower today anyway. The scent is that of lemons. It smells pretty, but I don’t like for my hair care to smell like lemons. When I smell artificial lemon, I associate that with bathroom cleaner or antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers. The shampoo itself was very lightweight and lathered easily. When I rinsed my hair I found that it had left it “squeaky clean” which is not really a good thing for me since my hair needs all the moisture it can retain. Stripping it of all natural oils to obtain that “squeaky clean” feeling is not the way to go for me. However, if you suffer from flat hair, this kind of formulation will definitely help to give you volume. All-in-all I won’t be using it again. I bet I can pass it off on my boyfriend.  

     While still in the shower I tried out the Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment. I LOVE THIS! When I squeezed it out, I was surprised to see that it is green. At first I thought it smelled almost like pumpkin spice, but then I realized it was more of an herbal smell with a spicy undertone to it. I only used a pea-sized amount for my entire face. I followed the directions on the tiny tube: Massage for 30 seconds and leave on for up to 2 minutes. The exfoliators in this are tiny. It felt pleasant on my skin. There was no burning, tingling or stinging sensations while I left it on my face. Once I rinsed it off, my face instantly felt 100x smoother! This is something I can see myself splurging on. Although it full size price of $85 is rather hefty, being that I only needed a pea-sized amount to “exfolikate” my face into smoothness, I would have this for a very long time. The tube says to only use it once or twice a week. You can bet your current exfoliation routine, that I will be using this one again.    

      My Sample Society box didn’t offer much information on the Erno Laszlo Phormula 3-9 Repair Balm other than the full size product costs $245. So I went to the to learn more about it and how to use it. Here’s the info:

Rich Repairative Moisturizer Smooth scars, wounds, burns, and dry skin with this intensive nourishing balm. Dryness, redness and puffiness are effectively treated beneath the balm’s protective Health Dome. Skin is strengthened while irritation is reduced.

Rich, anti-bacterial tropical Tamanu Oil boosts skin health and promotes rapid healing
Dromiceius Oil restores the skin’s moisture barrier and stimulates skin cell renewal
Yeast Extract improves skin cell respiration
Marine-based Glycosaminoglycans promote collagen production for greater smoothness and elasticity
Use immediately after toning and applying prescribed treatments, or after moisturizing. 

Using the spatula, dab cream on the forehead, cheeks, and chin
Smooth over face and throat, massaging with fingertips until absorbed
Can be used on the face and body

     I’m using quite a few different serums and a moisturizer with a sunscreen as part of my daily skincare routine. It is important for me that whatever skincare I use has the flexibility to be compatible with other brands. Since in the product description it said it could be applied after treatments or after moisturizing, I decided to add it into my skincare routine today.

     The repair balm has the consistency of warm lard. Yes, it looks a little bit like the solidified fat we see in refrigerated homemade beef stew pots. Only a little bit. It had no noticeable smell. It felt a little greasy when I applied it to me skin, and I felt like it took a little bit of elbow grease to really smooth it onto my skin. Again, I only used a pea-sized amount. I could tell that this would be a great moisture treatment for someone with extremely dry skin. I’m very well moisturized at the moment, so I won’t be using it very often; but I can tell that this product could really be a holy grail for others.

     This was another of those items that I wasn’t all to excited about: Jane Iredale Tantasia Self Tanner. I’m biracial (black/white) which means I tan really easily. I avoid the sun and wear lots of sunscreen – not because I want to avoid getting darker. I just hate having uneven tan lines all the time. You know? Tanned chest. Super brown arms. Light tan face. White shoulders. Lol! The list goes on. Because of this biological predicament, I do not use self tanners or many bronzers. But I took one for the team so I could tell you about this.

     In order to insure that I would not be stuck with an overly self-tanned appearance, I used all of my usual skincare as well as some of the Erno Laszlo Phormula 3-9 Repair Balm. In case this is news to you, using a moisturizer before applying self tanner can prevent the tanning agent from fully pentrating your skin. In other words, the next time you wash your face, your faux tan will most likely wash off. Good news for me.

    My impression of the Tantasia Self Tanner is that it is actually quite nice. It’s lightweight, non-greasy and has a citrus smell to it. To be honest, I like the smell of most self tanners, but I know most people don’t. The scent of this one will be a pleasant surprise for most people. As for the color, it actually gave my complexion a pretty tanned glow. Almost JLo-ish. I like it. I’ll keep it in my makeup stash.

    The finishing touch for me was a little of the Aromachology Clean & Fresh Eau de Parfum. It actually stung my skin a little. High alcohol content. But that’s normal for a fragrance in spray form. The scent smells like laundry detergent on steroids. The smell is definitely clean, but more like sterile. It made me feel beyond fresh. Although, this is a fragrance I would never buy if i smelled it in the store (too clean and fresh for my taste), I do like the way it smells on me and how clean it makes me feel. I will use this little sample up.

     Sample society also included a little extra goody: a towelette from Herban Essentials. It was lavender-scented aromatherapy in towelette form. Last night before my boyfriend went to bed, I rubbed it on his shoulders and chest. He slept like a baby… but then again he always does. He doesn’t need any help in that area. This is a nice alternative to the smell of baby wipes or heavily perfumed hand sanitizers. Lavender is a natural antibacterial and antiseptic.

    This towelette sparked my interest in Herban Essentials so I looked them up online. They have other fragrances such as peppermint, lemon, and eukalyptus. They even have one for pets, one for after your yoga workout and a multi pack so you can try them all. I can definitely see myself ordering some of these.

    This was a fun little review for me. It was fun to experience new things and even force myself to try products I would never normally use. If you found this review helpful and would like to do a good deed, read on. If you purchase something at and use my referral code, HEAT290273, when you check out, Sample Society will donate up to $35 to the Feed Foundation for each completed order. How awesome is that?

Have you tried any of these products? What was your experience? Questions? Comments? Tips? I would love to hear from you! Please comment and subscribe!

Until later,

Heather N King Sample Society with Allure Magazine

     I am super excited about this and was just dying to share this with all of you. Sample Society with Allure Magazine is offering limited spots to become a member of the Sample Society! Each month members will receive five deluxe-sized samples of ranging from makeup and skincare all the way to hair care and high-end fragrance. Some of the brands they have cited as participating in this program are Murad, Stila, Alterna, Diptyque, By Terry, Kate Somerville, and Oscar de la Renta fragrance.

      The cost of the membership is $15 a month and can easily be cancelled at any time. Sample Society is even offering a full year subscription to Allure Magazine at no extra cost. Along with your monthly shipment of goodies to try, you will also receive a $15 gift code that can be redeemed on any purchase of $50 or more. That means your monthly membership fee pays for itself!

     When I saw the ad for the Sample Society in Allure magazine, I figured that all of the limited membership spots had already been filled since I was a bit late getting the new issue this month. But lucky me, I got in! I hope that you get in, too!

     The Sample Society also has a nice little charity program in place. They have agreed to donate up to $30 to charity for every person who chooses to visit their site and place their first order using the promo code HEAT290273. The charitable organization that they will make donations to is The Feed Foundation. Isn’t it cool to be able to do a good deed while pampering ourselves with retail therapy?

     My first shipment of deluxe-sized samples will be shipped October 10th. Once they arrive, I will try them out and do some reviews for everyone. I can’t wait!

Have you heard about this program or a similar one? I would love to hear about your experiences, comments, and questions. Please subscribe and comment!

Until later,

Heather N King