When the new month starts, I toss everything I finished the previous month. I give a mini review of each item. Items I love are usually repurchased, so some of them appear in the Empties Series a lot. If I like or am indifferent to an item, I will not rush out to repurchase, but I would be willing to use or try it again. Items that are not for me may not always be empty. Generally, I finish them but do not use them again in the future. If they’re really awful and new samples find their way to me, I give them to someone else unopened. For items I really love, I spotlight ones I’ve finished and others I have yet to finish, so I can discuss them in more detail.
Influenster gives free trial products of everything from beauty products to household items. To qualify for programs, you fill out quick product surveys. Once you’ve qualified, they mail the products. Try them and tell people what you think in person and on social media. Complete a short exit survey and review the product(s) on Influenster. The more active you are the more programs you qualify for. Everything received from Influenster is free, so they never collect payments for products. If you are unfamiliar with Influenster, you can read my overview.
When it comes to drugstore makeup, I do not really buy it. I am not naive enough to think there are no quality items of the drugstore variety, but I find it harder to sample or swatch these items. Many of the items I buy are the direct result of sampling or swatching. If I really trust a brand, I will buy something without sampling or swatching it. My product research must yield excellent results, because I very rarely make impulse purchases. As I never return products to the stores unless they arrive damaged, I try to only purchase things I know I will like. Someone in my life can take items that failed with me off my hands, so I never feel compelled to return anything. A failed product for one person can be an HG product to another one. Who knows how many hidden gems I am missing out on by refusing to buy things I have not researched, swatched or sampled?
Whenever I get a chance to sample a drugstore product through a subscription box, foil or GWP, I try to accept the opportunity with arms wide open. Sample Society sent me a Loreal Extraordinaire ColourRiche Lipcolour in my July 2014 box, which I loved. When Target released its Beauty box containing that item, I ordered it on 10-20-14. The Target Beauty Box is not a subscription box. It is a one time box that ranges in cost from $5-$10 with free shipping. This one was $7. The value of the items always exceed the cost you pay, so it is a good deal if the items interest you. I like that you get to see the items before making a purchase decision.
Sadly, I received the exact same color I had already received in the Sample Society box. Considering how many color possibilities there were, I thought receiving the same color was funny. I sent the duplicate one onto a friend (and I need to follow up for the sake of this article to see if she liked it). Due to the fact that I have never finished a lipstick or gloss, I had no desire to hang onto a backup. All of the Target Beauty Boxes are out of stock, but I will let you know when they come back and what will be inside. Birchbox sent me an amazing sample of a product called Egyptian Magic in my June 2014 box. This is an oil based cream that works wonders on my boys’ eczema patches. After one application, the patches start improving. By the third application, the dry patches are gone. This product heals their eczema better than their prescription. The ingredients are eczema friendly without the chemicals in the prescription. It is without a doubt one of the favorite items I have ever found in one of my subscription boxes and something I plan on repurchasing often. I was going to order this product anyway, when I saw the following offer from Drugstore.com.
With a $75 purchase from Drugstore.com, all of the items listed and pictured below are free. Other than the Strivectin, Sally Hansen and the Nicole by OPI, I own zero of these brands. I love trying new things, so I knew this would be a great GWP for me. Luckily for me, Drugstore.com carries Egyptian Magic. I just needed to find a few more things to buy. It is winter, and my skin is extremely dry. Thus, I can never have too many skin moisturizers.
With my boys having eczema, they use moisturizers after each shower as well. Rather than buying our usual Aveeno or Eurcerin, I decided to try some brands that would be new to us. Cetaphil and CeraVe are highly rated. I’ve done my research and know they will be safe for my boys. The other lotion is vanilla scented, so I will not allow the boys to use that one. It was pretty cheap, so I will have no problem tossing it or giving it to someone else if I hate it.
The GWP was supposed to include 29 items, including the tote bag. Sadly, mine was missing the Boots No 7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Serum, so I only received 28 items. Luckily, according to the picture and the Boots No 7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum (which I received), it was just a foil. If I had to be missing a foil, I am glad it was one that is probably very similar to another. Thus, I do not feel like I am missing much. I’ve heard a lot of great things about the Real Techniques makeup brushes, so I am the most excited to try that. This year, I would like to do my nails more regularly, so the nail pen could be a very awesome treat. Strivectin is a product I already know and love. I thought I was getting a sample elsewhere and just found out I am not.
The items I received were: Iman Deja Vu Lip Kit, L.A. Girl Glazed Lip Paint in Pin-Up, Elnglish Laundry Arrogant, Real Techniques Shading Brush, Boots No 7 Protect Intense Advanced Serum, Hydroxatone Anti-Aging BB Cream in Medium, MDSolarSciences Mineral Beauty Balm, Lumene Bright Now Vitamin C Night Cream, Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser Foaming Fomula, Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Stick Bright Berry 40, Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Cloths, Prestige Primed & Ready Eye Primer, StriVectin SD Advanced Intensive Concentrate for wrinkles and strech marks, Nexxus Color Assure 3-Step Regimen, Toni & Guy Casual Sea Salt Texturising Spray, Toni & Guy Classic Shine Gloss Serum, Toni & Guy Cleanse Shampoo for Damaged Hair, Toni & Guy Nourish Conditioner for Damaged Hair, Tresemme Keratin Smooth 7 Day System, Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes, Nicole by OPI Cinna Man of My Dreams, Rimmel Stay Glossy 6 Hour Lipgloss All Night Long, Rimmel ScandalEyes Retroglam Mascara, Sally Hansen Big Matte Top Coat, Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen, Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Punch Drunk, and Tom’s of Maine Lip Shimmer.
I am not swatching the lip products, because I am unsure how many items I plan to keep. If I end up using them, I will add swatches and looks.
The Nicole by OPI Cinna Man of my dreams is a beautiful cinnamon color. Compare this to my other salmon and wine polishes.
The Sally Hansen Big Matte Top Coat is very matte with a whitish tint. Compare it to my other nail treatments, base coats, and top coats.
Sally Hansen Punch Drunk is a purplish-pink. Compare it to my other pink polishes.
I am pretty excited about receiving that one here as well. This Drugstore.com offer is available through the 23rd and only works with Drugstore.com beauty items, so you cannot load non beauty items or Beauty.com items into your cart. If you are unsure what items qualify, just play around with your cart. I tried loading vitamins and an electric toothbrush, which did not work.
Remember to check all Beauty.com and/or Drugstore.com offers before placing an online order. You can only use one promo link per order, but banner offers (they pop-up at times when you’re browsing on the site), and promo codes (uncommon) usually combine with one another. There are some exceptions. See other Drugstore.com articles. Read Tips For Getting the Best Deal at Beauty.com or Drugstore.com.View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.
Disclosure: Affiliate Links