Scaredy Cat Cosmetics Samples with Swatches

I purchased some beautiful loose eye shadows from Scaredy Cat Cosmetics and I couldn’t wait to swatch them!  Their initial allure for me was their unique packaging — samples come in little trial vials with a stopper, which are packed. At 1/4 teaspoon per sample (versus the standard 1/8 tsp of most indies) and at 5 for $5 or 10 for $10, Scaredy Cat offers some of the best value for sample sizes from indie companies.  A full size eyeshadow has 3.5 g for $5 and sports really gorgeous label art.

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Left to right: Foo Foo, Hera, Don’t Be Koi, Nilfheim, Fomhar, Hedgerow, Phoenix Tears, Ring-a-Ling, Y So Sirius, Metamorphosis

USPS gave me a lot of trouble for this delivery: for some reason they claimed to be unable to deliver my package to my address, and returned it to the sender.  I wrote to the owner, Kelly, and she was prompt to contact USPS to figure out what was going on.  In the end, she sent me a replacement.

Ordered: March 18, 2015

Shipped: March 23, 2015 (undelivered); March 27, 2015

Received: March 30, 2015

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Top to bottom: Y So Sirius, Phoenix Tears, Fomhar, Don’t Be Koi, Foo Foo, Metamorphosis, Ring-a-Ling, Hedgerow, Nilfheim, Hera

Since this is the first time I’ve purchased from Scaredy Cat, I just went with my gut and picked based on swatch colors and shadow names (I’ll admit it — Don’t Be Koi was a huge hit with me because I love puns).   I was pleased to find that the loose eyeshadow formula is smooth and vibrant, and every color applied beautifully.  When buying samples, I’m usually ready for a couple of disappointments, whether it is in application or color, but I have to say I’m happy with everything I got today.

I’ve read that some people find the trial vial hard to use because they are so very tiny.  I have a few small brushes, the small smudge brush and the small precision brush, both from e.l.f., that reach into the bottles just fine.  The most annoying thing is probably finding a hygienic way to put the stopper down while you are using the vial (I do some fancy fingerwork and turn it upside down so that the part that goes inside the bottle doesn’t touch the counter).  While I always depot my sample baggies into 3 g jars, I won’t be doing that this time because the vials are so unique.

EDIT: WordPress tells me that this is my 50th post — WOOHOO!!

Samples Showdown: Exuviance

Today’s Samples Showdown features three products from the same company.  Awhile ago, Exuviance sent me a set of deluxe samples to try, which were the Performance Peel AP25, the OptiLight Essential 6 Serum, and the Evening Restorative Complex.  To be honest, I was a little scared of using the peel since I have sensitive skin, and also recently just recovered from some mad beach sunburn.

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EXCUVIANCE PERFORMANCE PEEL

Exuviance’s Performance Peel comes in two pouches, an activator pad and a neutralizer pad.  Upon opening the activator pad, I was hit in the face with some serious chemical smell that reminded me of a perm.  Thankfully, this went away after application, which was surprisingly gentle.  After a few minutes of leaving it on my face, the product became tacky to the touch, and my skin started tightening.  There was minor tingling, but redness or discomfort.  Following their directions, I removed the activator after 10 minutes using the neutralizer pad, and then rinsed with water.  Immediately I could feel that my skin felt smooth and firm.

THE VERDICT: If I’m ever shopping for an easy-to-apply peel, this would definitely make the list.  But I don’t think this is something I’ll need to buy for a long time.

EXCUVIANCE OPTILIGHT SERUM

I can’t say much about the OptiLight serum since I haven’t been using it long enough.  In terms of smell and texture, it’s unassuming but also not memorable.

THE VERDICT: Bleh.

EXCUVIANCE EVENING RESTORATIVE COMPLEX

This is a pretty nice moisturizer.  In a gel-cream formula, it feels light and absorbs quickly into the skin. It’s biggest downside is that it’s not quite moisturizing enough for my combination skin.

THE VERDICT: If you have oily skin, this will probably work for you as a nighttime moisturizer!

 

Samples Showdown: Marc Jacobs and Benefit

Today I’m bringing two deluxe samples into the showdown, and I’ll tell you which you should buy and which to say buh-bye to.

MARC JACOBS LIP LOCK MOISTURE BALM WITH SPF IN 10 MAKEOUT

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Yes, even a clear lip balm gets a color code and name.
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You can count on Marc Jacobs for luxe packaging

I got this as part of a Sephora VIB exclusive lip-focused goodie bag.   I’m always looking for the next big miracle worker in lip balms/treatments because I have incredibly dry lips, and I looove products with SPF, so I had my eye on this before… but the price point is high, because Marc Jacobs.  This unfortunately, isn’t anything to go crazy for.

THE VERDICT: Don’t expect the inside product to match the outside luxe; though it wins points for having SPF (your lips need protection too!), it loses huge points for being so expensive yet blah.

BENEFIT THEY’RE REAL! PUSH-UP LINER

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The applicator is a slanted tip made out of flexible rubber, and the product comes out by clicking it up through the dispenser.
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Benefit comes up with the cutest names.

I’m sure you’ve allll heard the hype surrounding this new innovation in makeup technology – gel liner, in a pen form?? Oh my!  I love just about everything about it; the name (sassy!), the brand (Benefit is awesome!), the packaging (sturdy yet easy on the eyes), except… yeah.  The product itself is good, but doesn’t blow me away.  The gel formula is really long-wearing, to the point where it’s a little overkill.  I think I used half a bottle of makeup remover getting this stuff off!  The slanted tip is going to give you a nice application, but not as nice as a brush dipped in a gel pot or a liquid liner pen.

THE VERDICT: Girls, don’t throw away your liquid and pencil liners yet – this liner is worth buying but probably won’t replace your current favourite.

Samples Showdown: Nars, Kiehl’s, and Kate Somerville

Do you have a huge stash of product samples?  I always have a bunch on hand.  Here I’ll tell you which to buy, and which to say buh-bye to.

Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30

Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30
Ugh, what happened here?  I received this in St. Moritz, a supposedly neutral medium.  I can’t even tell you if this is any good because I had to remove it right away – it’s soooo orange.
 
THE VERDICT: Pass.
 

Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica Lightweight Cream

kiehl's rosa arctica lightweight cream
This formula is a gel-like cream, feels instantly refreshing, and smells like spa heaven (aka lavender).
 
THE VERDICT: Would buy, like, yesterday.
 

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intense Exfoliating Treatment

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The package is a lie, because it’s all orange and cheery, but the product itself is slime green.  It worked really well, but it wasn’t a miracle considering this brand’s price point.
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THE VERDICT: Sure, if you’ve got the dough.
 
 
 

 

Samples Sunday: Nest, Bumble & Bumble, and Origins

I receive a lot of samples, both trial and deluxe sized, and I probably end up using samples as much as I use the full-size products I actually buy.  Here, on this weekly feature, I will share my initial impressions to a variety of products.

NEST DAHLIA & VINES EAU DE PARFUM

nest dahlia & vines sample

With such a pretty packaging (I looooove florals), I was expecting something elegant yet perky.  But ew.  It smells like potpourri.  I’m going use the rest of the sample as as a room freshener only.

THE VERDICT: Buh-bye!

BUMBLE & BUMBLE HAIRDRESSER’S INVISIBLE OIL SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER

bumble & bumble hairdresser's invisible oil sample

Smells faintly of argan oil and – what’s this? – gardenia mmmmmh.  The shampoo and conditioner, like most Bumble & Bumble products, work well.  I don’t feel any of it’s detangling effects, but my normally coarse hair definitely feel more silky.

THE VERDICT: Buy when the price is right!

ORIGINS NEVER A DULL MOMENT FACE POLISHER

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Sorry I don’t have a picture of the sample! It was just a generic container.

I was told by an Origins representative that the papaya extract in this exfoliator “eats” your dead skin – whoa.  This thick scrub does its job, but, as weird as this sounds, it smells too good.  I prefer a skincare routine that doesn’t make me crave papaya.

THE VERDICT: On the fence.

That’s it for today!  See you next week with more teeny tiny sample packets.