Tuesday Giveaway: Belle's Beauty Box

Feb 7, 2012

I buy almost all of my beauty products online.  I only travel to the brick and mortar Sephora or Blue Mercury location when I want to try a product before I buy or when I’m not sure about a shade.  And when you order most of your products online, you get samples…lots of samples.  Add these to the swag products handed out in event gift bags and the duplicates from my multiple Birchbox deliveries, and I have a huge box of unloved beauty product samples sitting on a shelf.

It’s basically my own personal beauty closet.

Usually, I find the samples good homes by giving them away to friends.  If someone tells me that she needs new dry shampoo, I grab one from the sample box.  And if a friend is looking for a new scent, I provide them a veritable grab bag of fragrance samples.  But last month, I was doing some New Year’s Day cleaning, when I thought, “Maybe I should be giving these away on the blog?”

At first, I chucked the idea because I wondered “Who would want a a bucnh of sample size products?”  But then, I realized that the box was like my own, deluxe Birchbox, teeming with good stuff from great companies like Klorane, Zoya, Oscar Blandi, Tarte and more.  

There are full-sized body products from Lierac to treat aging skin and cellulite, full-sized nail polishes from Essie and Butter London (the ever popular greige shade, Fash Pack), hair care samples from Oscar Blandi and Sebastian, and lip glosses from Jouer, Tarte and Buxom. The box also contains my favorite fig body wash from Korres, one of my favorite mascaras (Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes), my beloved Borghese face mask and Benefit’s the Porefessional treatment for those seeking perfect, matte skin.  

All in all, the box holds a great selection of products in addition to the dozens of unpictured sample packets and fragrance samples.

Now, to enter this contest we’re going to do something a bit different.  I’m going to give you two chances to enter.  For the first entry, write in the comments below the name of a beauty product sample that your tried and either loved or hated.  Make sure to put why you loved it or loathed it, and don’t forget to leave your email so I can contact you.

For the second entry, things get a bit more complex.  Step one, go to Facebook and “like” the Birchbox page if you haven’t already.  Step two, go to my entry for the Zoya/Birchbox contest to design your own nail polish shade, and vote for “Belle’s Blushing Penny.”  Step three, leave a comment on the entry page about why you like my mood board or the reason why you read Capitol Hill Style.  The comment widget is kind of hiding under the Vote Now button to the right of the entry.  

I will add the names of the blog commenters and the names of the Facebook commenters to a spreadsheet and use it to choose the winner, and announce that person’s name on Monday.  So be sure to enter in the comments below and on Facebook for two chances to win.  ]

If you ladies like this giveaway, I’ll do another one in a month or two when I replenish the stockpile and maybe we can make it a regular thing.  I get so many samples of products that I’ve already tried, are already favorites or just don’t have time to use, that I feel like someone should be enjoying them.  Who knows, maybe you’ll find a new favorite?

Lastly, I’d like to thank the last three giveaway winners for their patience.  Things got a bit hectic around here, and I wasn’t able to ship their prizes out until last Friday. I hope they enjoy the products that they won.  I will try to be more prompt in the future.

Ask The Edit, Style

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  1. Rach P says:

    Hi Belle & fellow readers,

    I received a sample a while ago of Mary Kay's cream sickle eye shadow in bronze. I'm a red head with very fair skin and don't like to wear eye shadow by day. When going out or when dressing up I like to wear eye shadow and this is the perfect one. It gives my make up a more evening appropriate look without making me look to overdone as some make up can given my skin tone. It also sits very well. Unfortunately, I'm almost out of my last full size tube and the exact product isn't produced anymore. The similar product is the cream eye color iced cocoa.

  2. CS says:

    Worst higher-end sample ever is the clarins eye-makeup remover I recieved as a gift with purchase. Kinda greasy and didn't do half the job that my normal Body Shop chamomile remover does.

  3. Emily says:

    I got a sample of Clinique mascara from a friend who didn't need it. I loved it but unfortunately it's out of my price range 🙁 so Great Lash it is once the little sample tube ran out. But my eyes looked amazing while it lasted!

  4. missattymaam says:

    deluxe sample of Kerastase Elixir Ultime – amazing product that I never would have risked buying at $56 for an 8oz bottle, but was amazing effective on my hair

  5. KAS says:

    I was recently on vacation and tried a sample tube of Philosophy Hope in a Jar moisturizer. It made my face smell weird! I missed my regular moisturizer (steamcream) so much.

  6. Krista says:

    My favorite sample I received has been Clark's Botanicals Smoothing Marine cream. It's done wonders for my skin in just the time it takes to go through a sample, even if it is a deluxe sample. It's been great this winter to protect my skin, and has made it really soft. I am planning on buying the full size of this product, despite the price tag because I love it so much!

    I also liked birchbox, voted, and commented for your shade. Best of luck!

  7. lisa says:

    My favorite sample was Clinique Eye Make-up Remover. It gets the job done every time.

  8. Sarah says:

    Good Morning Belle and Capitol Hill Style followers!

    I use my beauty samples for all they are worth and there are two which have really stuck out over the years. Mario Badescu's seaweed night cream smoothed my uneven tired skin while I slept without leaving me a bit oily. After sampling, it became a part of my nightly skin routine.

    The second is tarte's iconic lip stain in charmed. I love all of the tarte products I have tried, but the stain with lip surgence remains my most raved about beauty buy. This sample led to the purchase of several different shades of the lip color which accent and inspire many of my getups.

    Thank you for your always savvy and fabulous blogging. Have a wonderful day!

  9. Crystal says:

    I am a recent transplant to the DC area, originally from Sacramento. Weeks before moving here, I tried Just B Cosmetics. Brenda Azevedo custom blends all of her cosmetics to match your skin, and I have to say I am in love. I will never be able to go back to the usually crafted blends for my mineral foundation. Also, she will mail you your make-up once she has your custom design on file, so if you ever find yourself in the area and in need of a new foundation, I would book an appointment!

  10. VA says:

    I got a sample of Clinique's Moisture Surge tinted moisturizer when I was bemoaning the fact that they discontinued my favorite-ever Almost Makeup. The new version is actually fantastic – it goes on fairly sheer and I can build up coverage on any trouble spots using a foundation brush. It's perfect if you don't need/want a heavy foundation. I loved it enough to go back for the full-size product.

  11. BN says:

    I am loving the African black soap Belle recommended! I've only been using it for a week, but it's great.

  12. Kelly says:

    I recently received a sample sized Sephora-brand mascara with a purchase. LOVE IT. It's thick and creamy and works wonders with my eyelash curler.

  13. Martha says:

    I got Stila Kitten lipgloss in my Birchbox, and I love it! It's the perfect shade for both winter and summer and the brush applicator is great too.

  14. Laura says:

    Fell in love with my favorite scent (the only one I use!) through a sample – Chanel Mademoiselle

  15. KC says:

    I recently got a sample sized Estee Lauder mascara. And as much as I hate to admit it, it is AWESOME! It makes my lashes look super long and does not flake!

  16. Emily says:

    I received a sample of Ojon's Detoxifying Shampoo and it made my hair feel soft, silky, and healthier overall.

  17. Susan says:

    The Jouer body butter from last month's Birchbox, the floral scent was so overpowering that it gave me an instant headache to the point I had to shower to get it off of me. I then attempted to give it away and couldn't. Oh well.

  18. Rachel says:

    Hi Belle!

    I received a sample of Benefit's Erase Paste. I never realized how a quality concealer could make a difference with my look. Lack of sleep, blemishes, allergy induced under eye circles all seem to vanish with a quick dab of this product. I don't need very much and when I use it (often on days where I could only squeeze in 5 hours of sleep) I tend to skip any foundation because it's THAT good!

  19. Caroline says:

    I got a sample of the Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturizer at Sephora a few years ago and it's the best moisturizer I've tried for those super dry days. Sadly, at $69 for 2 oz, the full size version is well out of my price range.

  20. Govvie says:

    A few years ago, I complimented a co-worker on her perfume and she generously gave me a sample of it (Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom and Honey). Now it is my “signature” fragrance!

  21. Jessica says:

    I tried the Bare Essentials face wash and actually loved it! It was gentle enough for my sensitive skin, but still gets rid of all of my make up at the end of the day.

  22. Cassandra says:

    A friend gave me some samples from Mario Badescu a couple weeks ago and I am already in love. Stress at work (and the bad eating habits that come with) had been wreaking havoc on my face since Christmas, but using the drying mask once a week and the drying cream under my makeup in the mornings has tamed my horrid flare-ups. I really can't remember a time when my face has looked this good for this long! Here's hoping the products don't fall into the Proactiv trap of working amazingly for a little bit, then making things worse.

  23. JJ says:

    My fave sample was Clinique Moisture Surge. It is my new fave, enough moisture without making my skin feel too greasy.

    My least favorite has been Boscia Luminizing Black Mask. People raved about it on Sephora so I used my beauty bank points to get a sample. What a waste! It hurt to peel off and didn't improve my skin tone.

  24. I got a sample of moroccan oil and it is worth all the hype. I stayed away for a while because I didn't want anything to weigh my hair down, but I love what it does and it smells divine!


  25. Elle says:

    The best sample I ever got was Burberry London perfume. I got it at Christmas time with a gift I purchased and it has been my signature scent ever since!

  26. Laura says:

    I used to think mascara was truly one of those “pay more get more” items, but then I bought and have been LOVING cover girls' last blast fusion mascara. it's fantastic and it comes off easy!

  27. Sarah says:

    I tried Caudalie 'Beauty Elixir' which is basically a spray that you spritz on your face to refresh your makeup–it really brings out a healthy glow and it seems almost like magic! Plus one spray does it and I only use it about once a week, so I'm still working through the sample size!

  28. Bekki says:

    I ordered several Mario Badescu acne products and they all made me break out horribly (and never went away), and, of course, the samples did too. Just goes to show that everyone's skin is different.

  29. AshG says:

    I got the blinc mascara in my Birchbox a few months ago, and I really wanted to love it. It didn't end up being for me, but I really did like taking it off at night and seeing the little eyelash tubes!

  30. Adrien says:

    I got a sample of Anastasia mascara in my Birch box a few months ago and it was all sad and dried up. Boo. But, I recently got a deluxe sample of the new Laura Mercier Radiance primer and it's completely fantastic.

  31. RB says:

    My least favorite sample I've received in my Birchbox was Ahava Mineral Body Lotion. It was a decent moisturizer, but its fragrance was so overwhelming that it competed with my perfume. It would have been way too much to wear both at once. It wasn't billed as a scented lotion, but it smelled like it came straight from Bath & Body Works. Yuck, no thanks.

    My favorite sample from Birchbox has been VMV Hypoallergenics Re-Everything Eye Serum. I'm only 25 so I haven't really gotten into the age defying stuff yet, but this serum is a miracle worker! It instantly tightens up the under-eye area without harsh retinols. I only wish it wasn't $80, that's a bit out of my price range for eye serum.

  32. Lindsey says:

    I recently got a sample of lip gloss from Sephora with 100 points from my beauty bank. It's a hot pink and something I probably never would have bought a full size of, but it goes on sheer enough that it looks good and I may actually try and find a similar shade when it runs out.

    Oh and I commented on your Birchbox mood board…and voted of course!

  33. Kelly says:

    I tried a sample of Clinique's Almost Makeup foundation cream in Neutral and LOVED it. It feels so light, but still is enough for great coverage on my skin. I was lucky enough to find it at a makeup outlet in my hometown of Manchester, VT, but I heard it's been since discontinued! Trying to make mine last like hell.

  34. Veronica says:

    My favotire sample of all time has to be my Smashbox eyelash primer! From the moment I opened the tube I was hooked. My lashes look so tull and thick when I apply this product first. I usually wear a Smashbox mascara but it also works get with mascaras from the drug store. I can't wear mascara withont primer first.

  35. SarahT says:

    I loved loved loved my sample of Clarins Delectable Self Tanning Mousse (with SPF 15)! I took it with me on a long weekend to Riviera Maya and it provided the perfect hint of color on my face and decolletage. I actually used it in place of my regular moisturizer, added some additional SPF on top and because of the color, I hardly needed any makeup (which was welcome in the heat). Plus I absolutely loved the smell!

  36. MidwestChic says:

    Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy smells amazing!! I never thought I would like any of the Juicy products (some of the jewelry and clothing is tacky to me) but the perfume has quickly become my favorite thanks to a Birchbox sample 🙂

    My least favorite sample was Harvey Prince Yogini perfume… it smelled like a hospital to me and I was really disappointed!

  37. Natalie says:

    I tried Butter London polish and am in love. The best polish. I already liked your color board but I will go back and like and comment again!!

  38. Ellen says:

    Butter nail polish. I love the stuff. I needed to start saving money, so I started doing mani/pedis at home. But, I hadnt bought nail polish in years. I love the colors and that is is less toxic than the other stuff. I am wearing it right now: fairy lights.

  39. cs says:

    I was given a few sample cups of Aveda Damage Remedy after a somewhat recent haircut and am absolutely OBSESSED with it now. My hair has never felt softer or silkier. It is absolutely perfect for the horrible things winter can do to your hair! It's a bit pricey in full size but since I alternate with clarifying shampoo from the drugstore, it doesn't hurt my budget too much. I definitely recommend it for any hair type!!!

  40. KC says:

    My favorite sample was Stila eyeliner in last month's Birchbox. I had given up on finding an eyeliner that went on smooth and easy without running and smearing. I bought several more already.

  41. Laura C. says:

    I got a sample of Ole Henriksen truth serum with my last Sephora order and now I understand why you love it! It smelled wonderful and went on so easily- can't wait to buy the full size.

  42. Kelly says:

    I recently got a sample of Bobbi Brown's oil cleanser. I love that it does a great job of removing all makeup.

  43. megan says:

    Porefessional from Benefit is always a good thing to have on hand. Also got the tiny orange tube of Borghese in my last Birchbox and really enjoyed using it! However, I would not shell out the $$$ for it when I have a L'oreal serum for 1/4 of the price! The Oscar Blandi arresol dry shampoo that came as well was just blah. It didn't really absorb the oil and only lasted a few times. I've since invested in BLOW (which I also found on Birchbox) and I'm in love. A powder dry shampoo that finally works!

  44. Betsy says:

    I received a sample of ExfoliKate from Sephora and its the best facial exfoliator I've tried and now use it regularly. My face feels so soft and looks terrific after use!

  45. Alexandra says:

    I love perfume samples best! You get to see how they wear throughout the day AND are always handy when traveling—hate that pesky 3oz rule!

  46. Sara Lang says:

    I absolutely swear by clinique moisturizer — i've tried so many other products and none of them come close. My mom recommended it to me as a teenager, and I couldn't be more grateful to her for that!

  47. Sarah R. says:

    I tried Zoya polish from my January Birchbox this past weekend and loved it. The color was a little too blueish for my taste, but it was completely opaque, which is difficult to find in light shades. I wear a lot of pale colors on my fingers in the spring and summer and will definitely be purchasing more of this brand in different shades.

  48. Payten says:

    1) I actually subscribed to Birchbox because of you, and then fell in love with the BeFine moisturizer they put in one (that I see is in you box!).

  49. Payten says:

    Love the soft pink look in your mood board

  50. M says:

    Benefit Porefessional treatment from my Birchbox!!! I am already obsessed with my birchbox as well and couldn't stop using the porefessional treatment as the reason everyone should get the subscription – I'm so happy I found that product because there are so many primers out there… you get lost in them. It leaves your face SO SOFT and has a slight tint to it as a perfect layer underneath bronzer for a natural look.

    and Belle – this is an AMAZING giveaway! Best of luck in the zoya competition 🙂

  51. Nikki says:

    The best sample I have received is Clinique's Moisture Surge, I have combination oily to normal skin and this lotion is super light and refreshing. I now use Moisture Surge as my everyday face lotion. In the summer I keep an extra container in the fridge, I love putting the super cold lotion on my face when it's extra hot and humid.

  52. Mel says:

    I got a Clinque three step toner-cleanser-moisturizer system sample in college. I LOVED it. Made me wish I could have afforded the real thing.

  53. J says:

    Murad Active Radiance Serum that came with my Clarisonic (thanks, Belle!). Even though it adds a step before mosturizer, primer, and makeup, it's a great skin brighener and firmer.

  54. Sharona says:

    My favorite beauty product is my philosophy purity face wash, and one that I hate is blinc mascara — it is BY FAR the worst mascara I've ever used!

  55. TScali says:

    I got a great Clinique bonus with skin care goodies –
    a) Turnaround Cream – awful
    b) All About Eyes – amazing
    Always great to test first!

  56. Sharona says:

    Also, I like birchbox on facebook and I LOVE your mood board for zoya — I'm dying for a polish in that color, too!!

  57. Leslie says:

    This may be odd, but one of my favorite new finds is a sulfate-free shampoo that cleans without leaving build-up: Trader Joe's Refresh Citrus Shampoo with Vitamin C. Finding an inexpensive shampoo is amazing. I just pick it up when I'm getting groceries.

  58. Hanna says:

    My favorite sample ever has actually been the Borghese Moisture Intensifier in the January Birchbox. It smells amazing and really helps my regular moisturizer (La Roche Posay Toleriane) soak into dry patches.

  59. RN says:

    I received a sample of Sephora brand mascara with my Beauty Insider card, and was very disappointed. I felt like it weighed my lashes down and gave them no curl whatsoever. I would not recommended.

  60. -Lindsay says:

    Now you've got your own “BelleBox”!

    I'm a big fan of the Miracle Skin Transformer- I got it as a sample from a Sephora purchase and have used it ever since. It has spf and is a great lotion for your face- never leaves it oily or clogs your pores!

  61. Lexi says:

    I once got a sample of Rene Furterer dry shampoo and loved it (the aerosol.) Not only does it pump up my roots on the go, but it also evens out my hair's seasonality: My hair lightens drastically in the sun, so there's always a fall adjustment period, as my hair also seems to grow fast. The slight pigment in the dry shampoo blends my hair beautifully. I wouldn't recommend it for someone with hair darker than a medium brown.

  62. aw says:

    I'm usually a very simple shampoo/conditioner girl and just buy Pantene or Fructis, but recently I wanted to try something else that might be better (based on online reviews). I bought a Nexus shampoo and conditioner that promised silky, healthy color treated hair. Definitely not the case. $30+ and one shower later, my hair was dull, dry, and completely limp. It makes me wary of trying anything else new and pricier than my typical $4-5 bottles.

  63. Lexi says:

    Entry 2: Zoya vote

    I agree with your assessment that bright pink is a little young and pale pink is a little done. I love the idea of bringing in copper with a blush edge. With the combination of the cuff you showed and the NARS Orgasm blush, I can easily see a gorgeous, and universally flattering, nail shade for the modern woman.

  64. Kristen says:

    Sugar lip tints are my new favorite! I bought a sample duo of rose and plum and love them. My next purchase will be the passion color. They provide just enough color and a little bit of shine without being overpowering.

  65. Rose says:

    Got some Thymes eucalyptus body lotion in my January Birchbox – which immediately dried out my hands! Ugh!

  66. Brenda Williams says:

    I'm a Chanel girl all the way, so was extraordinarily pleased to receive their Beaute Des Cils mascara as a free gift!

  67. Michelle says:

    I recently traveled with a sample of Oscar Blandi's dry shampoo and used it immediately after de-boarding. There is NOTHING as awful as hair that has just sat on a plane for 5 hours. The dry shampoo not only got rid of an grease but added a wonderful shine and great volume to my hair. Definitely a product to buy in bulk!

  68. Virginia says:

    I got a sample of Shiseido Bio-Performance Advanced Super Revitalizing Cream and absolutely LOVED it. So light on the skin, but made my skin feel amazingly nourished, moisturized, helped my mild acne, just amazing! I've kept the empty bottle to remind me that I really really really need to go out and get a bottle of it.

  69. Sarah H says:

    My hairdresser gave me a sample of It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product, and it is the best thing in the world! My wavy hair tends to frizz a little bit as it dries, and this product keeps my hair looking sleek and gorgeous!

  70. TJ says:

    I tried out a sample from CereVe moisturizer, and it gave me the worst acne I've had since I was a teenager

  71. Nina says:

    Loving – OXY's new(ish) clinical line, which I originally tried as a free sample from a magazine. Cheap, available everywhere, and absorbs into my skin better than some high end products I've tried.

    Loath – Clinique's Dramatically Different. Did not moisturize my skin well at all. Sat on top of my face and by the end of the day it would somehow get in my eyes making them sting. No good.

  72. Lauren says:

    I got a bunch of samples from Jo Malone last time I bought perfume from them. I fell in love with this citrus scent.

  73. Mary says:

    I love the sephora lip glosses that I always seem to get. I get to try new colors that I wouldn't normally buy. I leave them in coat pockets, desk drawers, and my purse. Then whenever I need a lip gloss there is always one close by.

  74. I tried a sample of Urban Decay SuperCurl mascara and I loved the way it held my curl all day long! I usually have to recurl a couple of times throughout the day but not it's not an issue! I love it.


  75. Emily says:

    I found my favorite scent, Philosophy's Amazing Grace, through a sample — I love it!

    In contrast, I recently tried a sample of Trish McEvoy primer and it made my face an oil factory.

  76. I liked Birchbox on facebook and voted for your mood board (before I even saw this contest actually) I left a comment under “Kayti Clayton”. Thank you!


  77. McKenzie says:

    I love samples and collect them furiously! I have received so many over the years that I have grown to love and purchased full sizes of. It kills me when people throw them out. Two of my favorites were the Dior Miss Cherie perfume and the Dr. Hauschka skincare line samples- now my favorite perfumes and moisturizers.

  78. HMB says:

    I've received some fabulous samples from ordering perfume online… one time I got a sample of a Halle Berry perfume which to my surprise has become my favorite evening fragrance! Would NEVER have tried it had it not come as a free sample with my order.

  79. S says:

    I received that Borghese moisturizer intesifier in my last birchbox and actually really do not like it. If anything my skin was doing better before I started using it. I kept up with it hoping that if I used it long enough my results might turn around – but I've finally given up. That being said, I would still love to try out these other samples and get my hands on some Butter nail polish!

  80. HMB says:

    I voted for you! I read your blog because I love the great ideas in Two Ways. You have some great combinations that I never would have thought of!

  81. Laura says:

    I recently got a sample of the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer and I LOVE it! Lightweight and perfect to wear under makeup.

  82. Holly says:

    Would have to be the Clinique EMR. You never know how great EMR is until you run out. Have been using my baby's shampoo!? Also…I like butter, a lot. So if the polish is anything like the spread, it will be fabulous!

  83. Shannon says:

    I received a sample of the Philosophy Purity facewash and it is now my favorite!

  84. AttiredAttorney says:

    I took Belle's recommendation and bought some of the African Black Soap, and it is wonderful!

  85. Stephanie says:

    I got a sample of Miracle Skin Transformer Treat & Conceal in my Birchbox last month, and I love it! A tiny amount of the product hides all kinds of flaws.

  86. Katie says:

    I received a sample of Clinique Moisture Surge. Initially, I was impressed with how fantastically soft it made my skin feel. Unfortunately, when I tried applying foundation over it, it worked really poorly and looked fake. So, any day I'm planning to go sans-foundation, I will definitely turn to Moisture Surge, but otherwise, a different product will work much better.

  87. Sam says:

    I recently cashed in my Sephora VIP points and received a sample of Shiseido Pefect Rouge lipstick in Salon. I have never been much of a lipstick person because I feel like they come off in less than an hour and could never last through meals. I've also always wanted to wear red lipstick out, but have never worked up enough of the courage. This lipstick turned out to be a perfect shade of red for me, AND lasted hours, through meals and drinks. I've worn it out a few times since I got it, especially around the holidays, and am planning on purchasing the full size when my sample runs out!

  88. Kailey says:

    I got a sample of Laura Geller Welcome Matte Skin Enhancer from CVS and ended up splurging and buying a whole tube after using it. As an acne sufferer with oily complexion, this matte cream kept my face shine-free all day long without clogging pores and feeling too heavy. It also smells really good. I highly, highly recommend it. I've never found anything comparable.

  89. cginnyc says:

    The Stila foundation sample I got with an order from Ulta – my friend swore it but it looked completely ashy on me. Fail!

  90. Molly says:

    I got the kate spade “Twirl” sample after ordering a bunch of essentials from beauty.com. Loved it so much I was willing to use my Christmas money from Grandma to buy the full size!!

  91. Christina says:

    I recently got a sample of “creme de coco” shampoo/conditioner when i ordered a new “grooming creme” from bumble and bumble from their website. I actually really loved the shampoo and am considering switching to it next time i need to replenish!

    Tried to sign up for Birchbox yesterday – looks like they're currently sold out 🙁

  92. Christina says:

    I had a sample in early fall of Michael Kors Very Hollywood, which I loved so much I bought the full size and is one of two scents in my rotation.

  93. Katie says:

    A couple of years ago when I was in high school, I was so excited when I got a Chance by Chanel perfume sample. Unfortunately, it didn't end up working out – it was way too strong and I felt like I smelled like an old lady!

  94. Angela says:

    My favorite sample has been Clinique Moisture Surge. I got it a few years ago and have been using it since!

  95. Emma says:

    Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in Peacock. Got this sample through Birchbox and would otherwise NEVER think to wear bright blue eyeliner. But, with just a thin line, it gives a little bit of punch to my otherwise conservative look and compliments my blue eyes perfectly.

  96. EK says:

    BeFine lip serum from Birchbox – I've always had chapped lips, but this works quick miracles without feeling sticky or heavy. The sample has lasted quite a while, but I'm looking forward to purchasing more when it runs out!

  97. Katie says:

    My favorite was a sample of Kiehl's Avocado Eye Cream. I am now a loyal fan – it's amazing!!

  98. saramel says:

    My worst sample experience was also the most expensive product I've ever tried. A small packet of Chantecaille's Nano Gold Eye Cream was pushed on me and I originally felt honored to get it after calculating that the price of the sample was worth almost $30! I very carefully opened it and squeezed all of the contents into an empty sample jar and then applied the tiniest amount so I could savor it for as long as possible. Then I looked in the mirror and was shocked to see what looked like gold micro glitter everywhere I'd touched. It looked more like the shimmery lotion I occasionally use on my legs and shoulders for a wild night out. I know the cream reportedly uses nano technology with pure gold but that was not the effect I expected and there were no other amazing benefits apparent even though I continued to use it as part of my night-time routine for as long as the sample lasted (a little over two weeks).

    My best sample experience was one made in store for me by a lovely Nordstrom sales associate. I tried three different shades of Cle do Peau's much hyped concealer and I fell in love even though I eventually had to buy two shades to get the right color. The formula and its results are unlike any other concealer that I've ever tried. I've been battling dark undereye circles since I was a young girl and this is the first product I've ever used on them that made me feel like a “natural” beauty.

  99. MicheleS says:

    I recently tried a sample of Fairydrops Drama Queen Mascara and I love it! The formula is slightly dry so it's easy to control. I have blond eyelashes so it's great to be able to get close to the roots without smugding all over my lid. My lashes look long and curly and dark. It wears all day and doesn't flake but comes off easily with face wash.

  100. Julie S says:

    I found my perfume through a sample a perfume lady at Belk's gave me!! It's Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue and I love how fresh and clean it smells- not too floral!

  101. Isabel says:

    I once received a full sized sample of jurlique facewash from Sephora and it was possibly the worst smelling thing I have ever used. Furthermore, after a few days, it both dried my skin AND made me break out. Double Fail.

  102. CarlyRM says:

    I recently got a full size sample of 2 Zoya nail polishes. I loved one of them, a mauve-pink. But I hated the other, a navy blue with shimmer, because it appeared way too dark and nearly black in real life.

    I also did the Facebook entry.

  103. Blakely says:

    My hair dresser in college gave me samples of Aquage's (at that time) new Biomega line. My hair is very fine, limp, and usually frizzy. She gave me the Volume shampoo with a spray and leave-in moisture mist to use after showers instead of conditioner that would weigh down my hair. I've tried other things since then at all price ranges, but I'll be using this for a VERY long time. It was definitly the best samples I ever tried.

  104. Meghan says:

    A few years ago I got a Delices de Cartier perfume sample with an online Sephora order. I was but an unpaid baby intern, but I still popped for the full-size bottle (there's no shame in eating ramen for a month). Four years later, it's still my favorite perfume and I wear it pretty much every other day. It's the perfect combination of fruity and musky for me.

  105. Liz says:

    Ojon's dy shampoo is the best for freshening up when you're running late for the office. It smells great and actually adds a little volume too!

  106. Meg says:

    Not a sample, but I just bought Egyptian Magic after seeing many rave it about it on beauty blogs. They were right! I LOVE it. So far I've found I only need to use it 1-2x per week, and just use my lighter Aveeno moisturizer as a daily supplement. My usually dry skin is loving it!

  107. HM says:

    Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover – I hated it because it never removes all the mascara. Takes me forever to get it off. I will be going back to Mary Kay Eye Makeup Remover. Even though it can leave my skin feeling oily for a time, it removes everything much quicker and easier.

  108. Anita says:

    I fell in love with the Prada Milano perfume after receiving a sample in a magazine. It use it every day – the scent is so classic.

  109. Shannon says:

    What a fun give away! I am in love with the OPI Designer De Better nailpolish right now. Slightly tacky, but so much sparkle fun.

  110. Melissa says:

    I have a sample of Chanel mascara that is destroying my life with how great it is – I really don't want to spend $40 on a tube of mascara when the sample runs out, but it is just so much better than drugstore brands!

    I voted and commented on FB – your color is great, I really hope you win!

  111. Erica says:

    The best sample I've received was of Gucci by Gucci Eau de Parfum. It has since become my signature scent!

    Just commented and voted on the Facebook page – good luck! It would be such a great color to try out!

  112. navybluestripes says:

    OMG that looks amazing. want want want! I worked at a beauty magazine this summer so I got to try all kinds of products that were just being launched. One thing I now swear by is moroccan oil for my hair. I always kind of forget to take care of my hair, but this one product keeps my hair looking nice.

  113. Lauren says:

    I got a sample of the CytoCell Dark Circle Corrective Eye Cream by Kate Somerville in my last Sephora order. Amazing. Although I do seem to love most eye creams I try, this one is pretty awesome. Unfortunately the $75 price tag will prevent me from purchasing it. Oh well! lauren dot luhrs at gmail dot com

  114. EliseC says:

    I have recently tried the Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh wipes. I love them because they smell nice and they make me feel like my face is actually getting clean at night before I go to bed.

  115. Aggie says:

    My favorite sample is Two-Faced eyelid primer from Sephora. It works amazingly well to keep eye shadow looking fresh all day.

  116. KRF says:

    I tried a sample of Lavanila body butter in vanilla blossom. After using it for the past month I am happy to report that I love it for two reasons: 1) the texture of the cream is well-balanced (it moisturizes without being too greasy or slimy), and 2) the scent is not overly powerful (has a little bit of musk to it, which pairs nicely with the vanilla) and a hint of the scent stays on throughout the day. Thanks again for the giveaway opportunity. Its great to read other product reviews!

  117. Jamie says:

    I tried Ole Henriksen eye gel, and it burned under my eyes! Also really sticky and got all over my pillowcase.

  118. Alison B. says:

    Blinc mascara…it's supposedly puts 'tubes' on your lashes instead of just layering on and it's supposed to last longer. Completely disagree, no length or volume and it's gone by the end of the work day. Ugh. I agree with AshG that it's fun to take off though!

  119. JS says:

    I tried the Stila Glaoureyes mascara sample as one of my Sephora bonuses. I've been waffling trying to find a good every day mascara, and this one is my favorite so far. I've been wearing it every day for a month now (I purchased a full size on Birchbox super cheap by redeeming some of my birchbox points). https://www.birchbox.com/shop/stila-glamoureyes-mascara

  120. ECD says:

    I love sample size mascara! Any brand, but always black.

    I love new, fresh mascara and I love having the small size. I can use it for a month and not feel bad about throwing it out and getting a brand new tube.

    Not that you asked…but…

    I did recently break down and buy Blinc mascara – without trying it first. I have used Clinque for years – this is completely different. I wasn't fully prepared for Blinc. I have mixed reviews – at first I was pretty sure I hated it. But it stays on like nothing I have ever experienced – which is amazing. It is a very different experience from your regular mascara. I have had some trouble with my top and bottom lashes sticking together. Also – the way it comes off is a bit much…it is almost like pulling off fake lases…I have kept using it, but I dont think I would buy it again.

  121. Morgan says:

    I received a sample of Bulgaria Omnia Crystalline perfume with my last Sephora order, and now its my new everyday scent! Does it get any better than free beauty samples?!

  122. kartasi says:

    Tocca Graciella perfume. loved it so much i bought a bottle.

  123. Anna says:

    My most recent favorite sample is from a set of OPI minis that I was given for christmas. I am now in love with the hot red color: Red My Fortune Cookie. I just finished re-watching Mad Men, and this red is so perfectly retro and classic. I finally caved and bought the full-size version too (I'll keep the small bottle in my purse for touch-ups!)

  124. therachel says:

    I first received Laura Mercier's foundation primer as a sample and I've been a convert ever since!

  125. CBD says:

    I love Naturopathica Oat Facial Polish — it exfoliates without drying out my skin too much and can be used twice a week. This was my favorite product before I received my Clarisonic, which is quickly climbing up the list to be my #1!

  126. Shelley says:

    I received the Patricia Wexler M.D. Dermatology MMPi.20â„¢ Skin Regenerating serum sample at Bath & Body Works and it left bright pink streaks anywhere I placed it on my face. Really noticeable streaks, as if I was a football player with those black marks under my eyes. I tried to comment on their website about my problem, but they said I violated their comment policy because I didn't pay for the product.

  127. aPm says:

    I received a sample of Benefit's Bad Gal lash from Sephora's Beauty Insider and fell in LOVE with it! My lashes never looked better, and I now only use Benefit mascara.

    I also liked Birchbox and voted/commented for your shade!

  128. Ann says:

    Worst sample- Ole Henriksen eye creme. My eyes burned, and I developed a horrible rash. Best sample- Dior Skin Perfect Pore Refining Perfecting Moisturizer. Yes, it's pricey, but my deluxe sample lasted for two weeks and my face looked better than it ever had. I now have no qualms about spending $65 for a bottle of skincare product. After all, it lasts for 3 months and my skin is good enough that I can go without much makeup.

  129. Shari says:

    I tried my sample of Lancôme Génifique. It went on smooth and my skin feels soft, but one sample pack won't give me any visible results. I have read good reviews for those who gave it a full try.

  130. ellabella says:

    I went to Kiehl's to buy Man Soap for my man, and selfishly hoarded for myself the free samples offered at checkout. I have horribly sensitive skin, the kind that turns alternately red and dry in patches if I so much as squint at the wrong kind of grass, but the Kiehl's people convinced me that “Ultra Facial Moisturizer” would “absorb readily.” Ugh. It left me sticky and rashy all at once — NOT a good look.

  131. Keeley says:

    My fav sample that became part of my skin care regime is the Trish McEvoy Even Skin Beta Hydroxy Pads. I got a few as a sample after a facial at Blue Mercury. Highly recommend for anyone who had a stress break out in adulthood!

  132. Corinne says:

    When I tried a sample of benefits moonlight highlighter I feel in love. It gave the perfect amount of highlight to me cheek bones and brows. I went and bought a full-sized bottle the next day

  133. ET says:

    For Christmas my mom wrapped up a number of perfume samples so I could pick a favorite before she bought the full version. Among them was Chanel's “Eau Tendre”. Its a delicate sweet scent with a tinge of crisp apple–absolutely lovely!

  134. Elisa says:

    I recently tried Dermologica Thermofoliant in a sample and loved how it made my skin look. I hope it wasn't a fluke because I just ordered it.

  135. Stephanie says:

    The best AND worst sample I've ever received is Clarins self-tanning lotion when I was 13 years old, in the mid 1990s. Actually, my mom got the free sample and she gave it to me. It was the best sample because I had never tried self-tanners before, was barely aware of their existence, and they saved me from years of sun damage because I was hooked since. It was the worst sample because the shade did not match my skin at all and I looked weird until it faded. Once I found the right shade, there was no turning back.

  136. Gina says:

    My favorite sample without a doubt is Clinque's Dramatically Different Moisturizing Cream. It made my skin so smooth and helped with my wintery dry skin…it's definitely the best moisturizer I've ever tried!


  137. CR says:

    I recently received a deluxe sample of Bobbi Brown's under-eye cream, and I love it! I probably don't actually need to use it, but it feels so nice and makes my eye makeup go on so much better, that I keep using it anyway. Plus, eye cream samples are the best – you use so little product that they last forever.

    Thanks Belle!

  138. Sam says:

    The Moroccan Oil sample I once received was the best thing ever. It is so worth the hype. My hair has never looked better.

  139. Jordan says:

    I love my new blue Stila eyeliner I got in my most recent Birchbox. I would never go out and spend $ on a blue liner, but now that I've tried it and seen I can rock it I'll def keep it around to add some spunk to my look.

  140. alicia says:

    The last beauty sample product I truly loved was a set of miniature bcbgirl perfumes. I ended up loving three of the fours scents and I'm so bummed that they don't make any of the scents anymore.

  141. Andrea says:

    My favorite beauty samples is the dramatically different lotion from Clinque. Not very exciting, but I love having a free tube of it on hand for when my skin feels really dry.

  142. Daisy says:

    Boscia BB creme is the best sample I've received. It's a great shade, and I love a good multitasker. It saves me time in the morning. And the SPF is key! It was a great way to try out the BB creme craze. I see a full size product in my future.

  143. Kate says:

    I love perfume samples, and I recently received a sample of Love, Chloé, which has since become my go-to fragrance.

  144. Caroline says:

    After you raved about Birchbox for months, I signed up and got my first box in December. It contained the Borghese mud mask and I fell in love. The tingle is pretty intense, but it is so worth it, as my skin looks great afterwards and any blemishes that were starting to form are stopped. I've also started thoroughly rinsing my face after everyday washing and that's also really make a difference. Thanks for all the great advice!

  145. Caroline says:

    After you raved about Birchbox for months, I signed up and got my first box in December. It contained the Borghese mud mask and I fell in love. The tingle is pretty intense, but it is so worth it, as my skin looks great afterwards and any blemishes that were starting to form are stopped. I've also started thoroughly rinsing my face after everyday washing and that's also really make a difference. Thanks for all the great advice!

  146. Beth says:

    I got a Clinique sample of butter shine lipstick in the Adore U shade, and although I'm usually wedded to my two shades of NARS sheer lipsticks, this one I liked enough to buy in the full size.

  147. CynthiaW says:

    Blech – I also recently tried Philosphy's Hope in a Jar when on a trip and not only did it smell awful, it made my cheeks break out with whiteheads something awful. I never break out – and I ended up having to get a couple of facials and endure a month of exfoliating to get my face back to normal. Ugh…never again.

  148. Rosaline00 says:

    Philosophy brand. I was so excited, and it made me break out in hives. Literally. I looked like a leopard.

  149. Courtney says:

    I'm going to go against the grain and say that I really did not care for Laura Mercier's tinted moisturizer!! I have used Benetint by Benefit for the last couple years (loved it except for the packaging that deteriorated over time), and really felt like the LM one gave me no TINT! So I promptly took it back to Sephora and now use Smashbox's tinted moisturizer. It's doing the job great!

  150. Lauryn says:

    I recently bought Buxom lipgloss and absolutely love it! Perfect color and shine!

  151. Tessa says:

    I actually LOVED the Benefit Porefessional — tried it last month after also getting it in my Birchbox! It's the best primer I've found so far and leaves my acne-scarred skin really smooth for applying foundation.

  152. pooja pasawala says:

    A sample of Bare Essentials face powder got me hooked. Perfect look for everyday!

  153. clara says:

    MAC Zoom Lash mascara. I thought it would weigh down my lashes, but there was no clumpiness at all.

  154. Appealing Notes says:

    I loved the Zoya Noel birchbox sample! It was the perfect holiday/winter color that stepped out of the red-and-green box. I loved it so much, I bought and extra bottle to give to a friend over the holidays. I would be ecstatic if Birchbox included a different nail polish sample each month. I am super bummed that it sounds like some Birchboxes received a sample from the Zoya Feel collection this month; alas, mine did not 🙁

  155. Michelle says:

    After reading about it on this blog I decided to saddle up and buy IS Clinical Serum to treat my almost-30-embarrassing-problem-skin. I was super skeptical as I've been searching for a miracle skin product (i.e. a unicorn) since I was probably 13 years old. Low and behold, after using it every night for 2 weeks, my face looks better than it has in years. It's not perfect, but it's certainly made a HUGE difference. THANK YOU for turning me onto this product, and to Birchbox!

  156. Calli says:

    I recently tried Origin's check and balances cleanser from my birchbox last month and fell in love. It smells great and works well on my combination skin. I normally wouldn't have spent so much to try out this product so I'm glad I was able to try a sample and make sure the purchase will be worth it.

  157. Thais says:

    I tried philosphy purity and fell in love with it. I went out and bought the full size before I even finished the sample. My skin felt so nice after I used it.

  158. AP says:

    My hairstylist recently gave me a sample of Alterna Bamboo Anti Frizz Shampoo. I adore it. It's better at controlling my hair in the humidity than anything since my beloved Aussie Mango Smoothy Shampoo was discontinued eight years ago.

  159. EmilyS says:

    I love perfume samples, and how just changing my perfume from my “standard” can change how I feel…My favorite so far has been Chanel Allure.

  160. Robin says:

    Worst sample (many years ago): Clinic Happy that spilled all over everything and the smell stayed FOREVER.

  161. Jennifer says:

    I recently used Benefit's pore minimizer and loved it! No more pores!

  162. Bo says:

    I received a sample of Vera Wang's princess perfume and I love it! It has a light sweet scent!

  163. Anita says:

    I tried a sample of super by dr. perricone and it not only moisturized my skin but the turmeric works wonders to clear it up! I've loved it ever since.

  164. Rose says:

    A friend gave me a sample of Clinique's Lash Doubling Mascara and I love it. For me, the brush is really easy to use. The worst sample I ever tried was Patricia Wexler's 3-in-1 Eye Cream. Just a small dab turned my under-eye area bright red and puffy. When my mom tried the product she had the same result.

  165. Amy says:

    Benefit POREfessional! An amazing little product that I was fortunate enough to sample via Ulta. It goes on like butter and actually fills in the gigantic pores on my nose.

  166. blt says:

    I tried the Skin Ceuticals Daily Moisturizer and instantly fell in love. It is so light that I can use it during the day under makeup without feeling like an oily mess.

  167. JB says:

    I love love Boots No. 7 mascara. I tried it in London a few years back and am (still) so excited they sell it at Target! The worst has to be Revlon's Liquid Lip Color – just doesn't get the job done.

  168. Theresa says:

    I received the Orofluido hair elixir a few Birchboxes ago and figured I would save it until winter had truly ravaged my hair – so far it is has been a great treatment on my ends to keep them from splitting (any further), has a great scent, and a little goes a long way. It's something I would definitely recommend to others.

  169. Erica says:

    Best sample I've tried…

    John Freida Clear Shine Hair Gloss. I have used it ever since! Is a great way to add non-greasy, light-feeling shine to hair. It is my number one go to when I need a quick pick me up at a good price! It's only $10 at CVS! Easy and quick to use, great results. Only wish that the results lasted more than a couple of shampoos, but it can be used as a daily treatment.

  170. AG says:

    Best product I've tried is Physician's Formula Liquid Eyeliner. It has a felt tip–like a marker–and is the easiest application of eyeliner I've ever come across, perfect for that winged tip look. Love it!

  171. MB says:

    I recently tried a sample of smashbox moisturizing primer and I loved it. It soothed my winter-time parched skin, and it made my foundation go on smoother and last much longer. Can't say enough good things. Thanks Sephora for that one!

  172. CBH says:

    My favorite sample ever was CREED's Imperial Milanese. Never had the dough to plop down to buy the full bottle, but man, I milked that little vile for months. Gorgeous fragrance.

  173. Beth says:

    I recently got some Bond No 9 perfume samples. I love trying all their different scents!

  174. BEH says:

    My favorite Birchbox product so far is the Supersmile toothpaste. After only using it a couple of times I noticed a difference. Birchbox is amazing and I get so excited every month when my box comes.

  175. Nicole says:

    My sister in law works at a spa and scores me dermalogica samples. I love their agesmart multivitamin concentrate cream. very luscious!

  176. Angela says:

    I've tried a sample of Tarte's Lights, Camera, Splashes and loved it. Super black and holds a curl really well.

  177. M says:

    Kiehl's Ultra Facial moisturizer – My skin absorbed it pretty quickly. It wasn't sticky at all.

  178. Belle says:


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