I received my February Beauty Army Box last week, and just finished using the last of the samples this morning. I had significantly more luck with this box than I did with the January 2013 one, thanks in part to my researching the samples that were available to me before I selected them.
What I Received (Chose):
GG Gatsby “Raise Volume” Shampoo
YES TO Carrots Super Rich Body Butter
Olive Natural Beauty Bar – Lemon & Lavender Bar
Immuno-Viva “Sunrise” Tea
Whip Hand Cosmetics, Loose Pigment Eyeshadow in “Medal of Honor”
Mighty Tea Leaf “Vanilla Bean” Tea
This sulfate-free shampoo was advertised as not only being capable of giving my hair intense and long-lasting volume and fullness, but also a “mirror like” shine. The formula smelled lovely, like a floral perfume, but it didn’t lather up well. Maybe it’s just me, but the lack of suds made me wonder if it was really doing a well enough job at cleansing my hair.
Upon rinsing, my hair definitely felt smoother and silkier, Once I let it dry, I didn’t really notice a difference in volume or fullness, but this could also be attributed to my curls being big and wild anyway, even when I’m not using any kind of volumizing shampoo, conditioner, or styling product. If someone has straight or typically “flat” hair, they may notice more of a difference.
Would I Purchase?: Maybe. I liked that the shampoo was sulfate-free to protect my locks from losing their red luster, I liked the scent, and I liked how soft my hair felt after I used it, but I don’t know if it necessarily made up for the difficulty in getting it to lather up in my hair. I want to feel like my hair is being thoroughly washed, not like I’m simply adding more product to it.
I was a little skeptical about slathering anything on my body that had the word “carrots” in it’s name, but I was delightfully surprised with how nice this smelled. Texture wise, this is more of a lotion than a body butter, since it’s so lightweight- but it spread easily and absorbed quickly into my skin without leaving a greasy residue. There wasn’t much in the pouch I received, so I focused on applying what I had in problem areas I typically have in the winter: my elbows, knees, and ankles. My skin stayed soft, smooth, and hydrated all day and well into the night.
Would I Purchase?: Yes! I loved how this product made my skin feel. It was so much lighter in terms of the formula and the fragrance compared to other body butters I’ve tried.
I’ve been fiercely loyal to the all-natural, Vermont-based soap company, Scentastics, for a couple of years now, but I decided to try something new and selected a sample of this 100% organic soap.
I could actually smell the citrus notes in this soap before I even finished removing the tissue paper from the box. It was strong, but it smelled fresh and clean. I also thought the packaging was really cute:
The soap was really rich and hydrating, and my skin felt moisturized long after I showered, which was nice. The only downside, as is with most organic soaps that aren’t loaded down with chemicals, is that is wears down and melts away very quickly. My sample was gone after just the one wash, so it should be used sparingly if you want to keep it for a longer period of time without having to repurchase right away.
Would I Purchase?: Yes! I still love my Scentastics soaps, but I wouldn’t be opposed to picking up a bar of this sometime.
Product #4: Immuno-Viva Sunrise Tea ($11.95 for 20 teabags)
I’m a coffee girl, and have been for a long time, but I wanted to give this energizing morning tea a try to see if it did the trick to get me going for the day. A mixture of white, green, and black teas, this fruit & cinnamon flavored blend is supposed to boost immune health, fight free-radicals, and improve concentration.
It tasted sweeter than other teas I’ve tried, which was nice, but I didn’t feel particularly more awake or alert, and ended up grabbing my usual coffee by the afternoon to keep me going.
Would I Purchase?: Yes! Even if I wasn’t exactly energized, this tea tasted good, and would be a nice substitute on the mornings when I don’t want to be completely hyped up on caffeine.
I have blue eyes, and there are a couple of colors I can wear that really make them pop. For example, purples and golds. The name of this gold/copper, shimmery eye-shadow caught my attention (it comes from a special edition collection with military themed names), and seeing that it was highly pigmented, I decided to give it a shot.
I used a gold tinted primer, and then applied “Medal of Honor” all over my lid and up to my crease. I did not add any additional colors or shadows. It was definitely bold and bright, and lasted all day, only starting to fade in the late hours of last night/early this morning.
My only gripe with the shadow was the container. Loose powder shadows are messy, which is why I prefer pots of them as opposed to tubes, since you can control how much you get on your brush and any shadow left over isn’t wasted. The directions on “Medal of Honor” say it’s best to pour some of the shadow into the cap, which I tried to do, but it ended up going everywhere anyway, and the bit of shadow that I didn’t use was so difficult to get back into the tube that I ended up throwing it away.
Even still, a little goes a long way with this shadow, and as small as the sample was, I feel like I have enough of it left to use for a while.
Would I Purchase?: Yes! I loved the color, and I’d really like to try some of the other shadows in this collection.
Product #6: Mighty Tea Leaf in “Vanilla Bean” ($9.95 for 15 Pouches)
I must have been in a tea mood when I selected my samples for this month, since choosing the Sunrise tea seemingly wasn’t enough for me. I selected this black loose leaf tea, fused with vanilla bean bits and kept in a cute, silken pouch, and hoped for the best. I’d had good luck with the Sunrise tea the other morning, and thought I’d have a similar experience when I brewed this tea earlier today.
Unfortunately, this tea was very bland, even after I added a bit of milk and sugar to try and perk up the flavor. It didn’t taste bad, but it was very boring, and I couldn’t detect a hint of vanilla in it at all, which was disappointing.
Would I Purchase?: No. This was the only sample I received this month that I’d definitely pass on buying in the future.
Overall, I enjoyed this month’s box, and was pleased to discover new brands and products that worked well for me. As I had said in the beginning of this entry, this box was a considerable improvement compared to the one I received in January. Here’s hoping I have the same luck in March!