Mark Scanda-Lash Hook-Up Mascara in Blacklash (full size)
retails @ mfgr for $6.50
Mark (known by me as teenage Avon) is not a brand I'd ever tried before. From what I understand, you can get different items like lip glosses and mascaras and you can use a connector to literally hook the tubes together for easier access when you toss it in your purse. I only have one mascara and nothing to hook it to (nor do I want my mascara hooked to a lip gloss) All this said, I liked this mascara. It gives a good coat of color and the brush is fairly thin and really separates my lashes when using a thin coat of mascara. It would be good for those who like to do their lower lashes, too. My only complaint was the mascara formula was a little thick, I needed to be careful not to have too much on there or it started gluing my lashes together. This mascara earns a pass from me, just wish you could get it at a normal store.
Yes to Tomatoes Clear Skin Daily Pore Scrub (.1oz)
retails @ mfgr for $9.99/4oz - sample is valued @ approx. $.25
This is another "Yes to..." product and since I have had more hits than misses in the brand, I was excited to try it. This scrub was very scrubby... I know that is blowing your mind. For some reason some people get scrubs and want the very lightest of exfoliation. I am not that kind of person and this was my kind of texture. I do think it smelled tomato-y. Again, mind blowing. The Yes to Cucumber products do smell like cucumber, but the Yes to Carrots don't smell like carrots and the Yes to Blueberries smells like terrible. Perhaps it was just my imagination. I did feel like my pores seemed a little more noticeable directly after using this product. I just took it as a chance to throw a pore strip on and really pull any gunk out. Once I used toner and moisturizer, everything seemed fine. I'm not currently in need of a full-sized facial scrub, but this item earns a pass from me and will be on my mind for the future.
Jonathan DIRT Texturizing Paste (.7oz)
retails @ Ulta for $26.00/3.35oz - sample is valued @ approx. $7.00
I actually got this sample for Matt as he likes hair wax-type stuff. I don't think he's used it yet, though, as he's waiting to get his hair cut. I know he uses wax in his beard to keep any sticking-up hairs in check. I supposed this stuff might work for that? I really have never been a wax/paste person, at least not since my olden days of short hair (and way less chunky) Can't say if this one is a pass or fail.
Ineke Hothouse Flower EDP (.05oz)
retails @ mfgr for $95.00/2.5oz - sample is valued @ approx. $1.90
This is a FLORAL fragrance. Like being locked in a flower nursery on a hot and humid day kind of strong. It made me think of FlowerbyKenzo fragrance, though not the same kinds of floral. That kind of power, though. It honestly gave me a massive headache and I was stuck at work trying to scrub myself in the sink to get it off. I liked the smell initially, but this ended up a fail for me.
Macadamia Deep Repair Masque (.5oz)
retails @ mfgr for $4.00/1oz - sample is valued @ approx. $2.00
I don't know what a macadamia nut smells like, but this masque smelled nice whatever it was. It also felt really nice and conditioning when I put it in my hair. I used in after shampooing, but in place of conditioner. There was enough in the .5oz packet for one application to my hair which is now a little past my shoulders. Once my hair dried, I'm not sure I see anything more special about it than when I use my normal conditioner. It doesn't feel any silkier. Perhaps it needs more than one try to do anything, but that's all I could get out of the packet. I'll have to think more about getting this one again, but it gets a pass.
Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels (1 pair)
retails @ mfgr for $30.00/8 pairs - sample is valued @ approx. $3.75
The point of these is to cool and alleviate bags and dark spots under your eyes. I have neither of those*. I just thought this product looked cool and wanted to try it - and cool it was. I put these under my eyes for about 10 minutes and could definitely feel a chilled sensation and I kind of loved it. It was soothing feeling while I just chilled and read my book. Once I peeled the gels off, I didn't see any difference. It's hard to improve perfection, though... Just kidding guys. Something I learned is that these do leave a little bit of a gel film that might be best to rinse off before trying to do such things as applying eye cream. Man that burned...
*Upon completion of this statement I found a picture that my friend posted on Facebook that proved me very very wrong. I do indeed have some hardcore baggage under my eyes. Perhaps I will need to think more seriously about these things after all... These earn a pass from me.
Nelson Beverly Hills Argan Oil 7 in 1 Non-Foaming Shampoo (1oz)
retails @ mfgr for $20/8oz - sample is valued @ approx. $2.50
This shampoo smelled EXACTLY like the toothpaste my dental hygienist uses... and that is not a good thing. Unfortunately it didn't go uphill from there. Because this is a non-foaming shampoo, it seemed to absorb into my hair and I couldn't figure out if it was spreading or not. There were these little bead thingies in it that actually didn't dissolve/absorb, but they also didn't rinse out and I kept finding them after I got out of the shower (they made my scalp itch.) I tried this shampoo two ways - at night when I air dried my hair and in the morning when I blow-dried. Both ways, my hair ended up feeling heavy and greasy afterwards (my hair is usually normal-dry) This shampoo was probably the biggest fail in my box for me.
Total box value: approx. $23.90