Samples Saved Me! (Volume 1): Recent Products I Tried But Didn’t Like

product fails, beauty fails, products that didn't work, beauty products to avoid

This new segment “Samples Saved Me” will give you the lowdown why I won’t be buying full-sized version of the products I’ve tried, thanks to beauty samples I received as “freebies” from my various purchases here and there. Needless to say, everything is based solely from my experience, my genetic predisposition, subjective rants, and objective facts. If the products I mentioned worked out for you, hallelujah! if not, welcome to the club. So in no random order, here they are:

1) Dr. Brandt BB Cream with Signature Flexitone (full size 1 oz, $39)
Claims: self-adjusting flawless coverage, anti-aging, brightening, broad spectrum spf 30
Why I didn’t like it: this is sunscreen disguised as BB cream. The typical sunscreen scent is more than enough to turn me off, it’s so strong and it lingers for hours (read: morning to afternoon). It oxidized on me big time and it made my skin look awfully greasy after 3 hours. This is the makeup you shouldn’t be wearing on your first date or God forbid, near someone; the scent alone is utter annoyance.

2)  Josie Maran Argan Black Oil Mascara (full size 0.27 oz, $22)
Claims: Argan oil mascara that nourishes, lengthens, volumes and curls lashes for 24 hrs.
Why I didn’t like it: I’m looking past the 24 hr-claim because who wears mascara that long? The formula was initially wet then it became muddy after few uses. It smudged and budged leaving me with embarrassing black stains under my eyes. Between moisturizing my lashes with organ oil and mascara stains, I’d rather have none.

3) Clinique Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector (full size 1 oz, $49.50)
Claims: oil-free hydrating cream that visibly lightens dark undereyes
Why I didn’t like it: It’s another tinted moisturizer that does nothing beyond hydration. Just so you know, I received several deluxe-size samples of this corrector so I got to try it for a month. Unfortunately,  it did nothing to correct my dark circles. Aging and genes are some of the underlying causes of dark undereyes so I’ve come to a conclusion that since I’m so stingy to pay for expensive cosmetic procedures then I’m better off using a concealer to camouflage the haggardness of it all.

4) Stila CC Cream (full size 1.3 oz, $44)
Claims: skincare meets cosmetics offering the ultimate color correction while creating a natural-looking flawless complexion.
Why I didn’t like it: I don’t have perfect skin so I’m not even looking for flawless results. The shade “medium” is gray from the tube but once blended onto the skin, it’s supposed to adjust to my real skin color. Sadly, it didn’t adapt well because I looked ashy and overall unappealing.

5) Mary Kay True Dimension Lipstick Color Me Coral (full size $18). Technically this isn’t a sample but I won it from Influenster contest and since it wasn’t a byproduct of a purchase, we’ll categorize it that way oki?
Claims: instantly drenches lips in moisture and locks it in for endless comfort
Why I didn’t like it: it feels heavy and oily on my lips, it settled into lip lines and has a very weird plastic scent.

product fails, beauty fails, products that didn't work, beauty products to avoid

Brand Marketing 101 disguised as moral lession. One cannot underestimate the power of fragrance in a consumer’s buying decision, whether it’s impulse or premeditated. Either you make it fragrance-free or delightful to the olfactory nerves. It’s not that hard to sniff and evaluate. Scent is relative, others like floral or citrus  but I don’t know of anyone who enjoys plastic, chemical or rancid odor. Also, the role of samples is to lure you to buying full-sized products so first impression does count! Common sense, why would I insist on buying a product that I didn’t like from the start?

So there….samples saved me, my wallet thanked me, in the end I’m happy!




  1. August 7, 2014 / 11:39 am

    Hagardness – BEST new word ever. Thanks for the heads up on these!! I was curious about the JM Argan mascara, but I hate wet mascaras…so…I didn't like the Clinique under eye cream either.

    • August 11, 2014 / 1:03 am

      LOL! Great eye for details. Now I know you really read my post, haha!

  2. August 7, 2014 / 12:15 pm

    I LOVE this blog posting. Thank you for sharing!

  3. August 7, 2014 / 2:01 pm

    Great write up. Samples are the best and I use mine up before purchasing a full size. It def helps save money.

  4. August 7, 2014 / 2:25 pm

    That bb cream by Dr. Brandt doesn't even look good.

  5. August 7, 2014 / 2:50 pm

    I have yet to try a Dr Brandt product that I liked. I gave up on trying!

  6. August 7, 2014 / 3:03 pm

    True, true. I tried the Dr Brandt CC and liked, I also tried a sample before making the commitment.

  7. August 7, 2014 / 4:07 pm

    I love samples of new products because it really does help give you an idea of what it will be like! Thanks for sharing your thoughts about some of these!

  8. August 7, 2014 / 4:12 pm

    I love reading posts like this. I love when beauty bloggers get real about what doesn't work for them!

  9. August 7, 2014 / 4:15 pm

    I'm definitely a fan of cutting out the purchase of products wherever possible!

  10. August 7, 2014 / 4:29 pm

    I have a sample of the Josie Maran to try and I was worried it would smudge. Her last one didn't do anything for me either.

  11. August 7, 2014 / 4:39 pm

    This is why I LOVE getting samples! Most of these products didn't work for me either!

  12. August 7, 2014 / 5:02 pm

    Mary Kay True Dimension Lipstick Color Me Coral look really pretty, too bad it didnยดt work for you. Btw I just noticed your new blog header. It looks great!

    • August 11, 2014 / 1:06 am

      Thanks Leelo. It's been up for couple of months now ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. August 7, 2014 / 5:31 pm

    Shame that Josie Maran mascara didn't work out, I really like the original formula

  14. August 7, 2014 / 6:57 pm

    This was such a great post! Samples are a great way to try out a product without taking the plunge for full sized!

  15. August 7, 2014 / 7:38 pm

    Haggardness. I am unabashedly swiping that shit. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Samples are fun but not always a home run. At least they don't cost anything to try.

    • August 11, 2014 / 1:07 am

      LOL, second lady who noticed the invented word for today, I'm cracking up!

  16. August 7, 2014 / 8:36 pm

    I had my eye on the Josie Maran mascara. Too bad it went bad so fast.

  17. August 7, 2014 / 9:55 pm

    What a cornucopia of color! Too bad they're all the wrong ones, or the wrong scents, or textures. Yay for samples!

  18. August 8, 2014 / 12:22 am

    Great post! And yessss, thank goodness for samples. They have saved me a ton over the years.

  19. August 8, 2014 / 1:40 am

    Loved this post!! I have such a hoard of samples.. I should really work through them!

  20. August 8, 2014 / 1:43 am

    That JM Mascara didn't work for me either. I coated fine but no voooom or anything. Just normal. A lot of people say it's awesome so I had high expectations.

  21. August 8, 2014 / 1:59 am

    I'm so thankful for samples. Stay safe, Kath! (sheila, painted ladies)

  22. August 8, 2014 / 4:23 am

    Awesome post! I actually love that Clinique under eye thing. It takes like 2-3 months to make a huge difference on me. By midway through the second full sized tube it's a miracle!

  23. August 8, 2014 / 4:57 am

    I love when I'm able to test out a product to see how much I like it before actually buying it.

  24. August 8, 2014 / 3:40 pm

    such a great write up! i love samples!

  25. August 8, 2014 / 8:47 pm

    Great idea for a post! I'm always interested to see what people DIDN'T like, what they bought and loved, etc!

  26. August 9, 2014 / 1:41 am

    I love Josie Maran for some things but have never liked any mascara of hers. That BB cream is a weird color or is it just my monitor?

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