Sample Society Subscription Box Review – September 2014

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Sample Society Subscription Box Review – September

Sample Society is a monthly beauty subscription from and Allure Magazine. Typically the brands they include are high end, and the sample sizes are generous.

They recently had a bit of a revamp – they now have new packaging, and so far it seems like they are more makeup oriented. (Not so much for this box though).

My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).

Sample Society Subscription Box Review – September 2014 Items

The Subscription Box: Sample Society

The Cost: $15 a month

The Products: Deluxe and full-size beauty and makeup samples. (Each month you also get a $10 off $50 to use on any order from

Ships to: the US

Check out all of my Sample Society reviews and the Beauty Subscription Box Directory!

Swap for any item in this box from the Sample Society Swap page!

Sample Society Subscription Box Review – September 2014 Mini Mag

The box comes with a mini-mag detailing each item and why Allure editors decided to include it in the box. (This is one of the best/most helpful subscription box info sheets I’ve seen).

Sample Society Subscription Box Review – September 2014 Lorac

LORAC POREfection Mattifying Face Primer – 10 ml? Value $6

Alterna Caviar Repair RX Re-Texturizing Protein Cream 1.35 oz Value $9.25

This LORAC face primer is a pretty small sample, but I should be able to get at least a weeks worth of use out of it. And I absolutely love this Alterna hair cream! It smells wonderful, and it will be the perfect post-shower daily hair product. (Alterna products are free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, synthetic color, etc).

Sample Society Subscription Box Review – September 2014 Tarte

Tarte Brazilliance Maracuja Self Tanning Face Towelettes (3) Value $9

I’ve tried these towelettes before, and I think Tarte makes one of the best self-tanner formulas on the market. (AKA no orange skin). That being said, I’m always a little disappointed to see a skin-tone specific item in a box that doesn’t offer customization.

Sample Society Subscription Box Review – September 2014 Restorsea

Restorsea Revitalizing Eye Cream Full Size – Value $85

This eye cream is pretty small compared to its box, but a little goes a long way with eye cream! (I want to try all products goop-recommended, so I’ll start using this eye cream tonight!)

Sample Society Subscription Box Review – September 2014 Dahlia

Givenchy Fragrance Dahlia Divin Fragrance Sample – Value $1

I’m never too excited about perfume samples in boxes, but at least this isn’t one that has been in a lot of boxes already.

Verdict: I paid $15 (plus I think tax in PA) for this box and I received about $110 worth of items. I’ll use everything except the perfume sample, so this is a great value box for me. What do you think of the September Sample Society box?

Written by Liz Cadman

Liz Cadman

Liz is the founder of My Subscription Addiction. She’s been hooked on subscription boxes since 2011 thanks to Birchbox, and she now subscribes to over 100 boxes. Her favorites include POPSUGAR Must Have, FabFitFun, and any box that features natural beauty products!

Posted in Beauty Subscription Boxes, sample society, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women| 33 comments


  1. Hey…not sure if this has been posted yet…but there is a spoiler for October 2014 Sample Society on their instagram page in the picture with the September 2014 box. 🙂

  2. I LOVED this box. I will use literally everything in it. (Except maybe I’ll save the towelettes; I think those would have been better in a June, July or August box.) The eye cream and hair creams are amazing and the perfume smells so good. I will definitely be purchasing all of those in the future. I haven’t used the primer yet, but I’m sure it’ll be put to good use at some point.

  3. I loved it except for the towelettes. Im african american, but besides that the eye cream was a steal! I was excited about that.

  4. Got my box today


    Restorsea (loved since trying sample – happy to have FULL size)
    Givenchy (love the long lasting scent – floral and woodsy)


    Lorac (great for my oily skin but don’t want to open until current primer empty)
    Alterna (will attempt leave in treatment with my fine hair)


    Tarte (never been a tanner – proud of my fair complexion)

    Overall: very pleased with my first box!

  5. I just got my box today.
    It was missing two items the Alterna creme and the tarte wipes. I contacted SS and they credited my account $5 towards my next order. It really sucks, I hate missing items. But I guess their September box is completely sold out.

    • Wow. $5 seems a bit low, but I guess you still got your money’s worth from the eye cream alone.

      • Hi Robin,

        My thoughts exactly, $5 is very low, this isn’t the first time items have been missing from my box either. Which they noted in their response. They guaranteed going forward my boxes would me examined before shipping out so this doesn’t happen again. I’m hoping this $5 credit can be used towards the beauty box as I don’t shop in their shop as of yet. My overall experience with SS has been pretty good since in the past they have sent replacements. I guess sept was just very popular. Luckily I had good sense to order another box and that one arrived with every item, if I hadn’t ordered two boxes if be more upset about the missing two!

  6. I was all ready to cancel Ipsy & this subscription due to an impending move (and the fact that my 21inch toolbox is now filled w/ beauty products), but after receiving this today I may hold off. It may be every other month, but since the revamp this sub definitely delivers in equal parts makeup and regimen. So buh-bye to Ipsy and its questionable toxicity. If I need more makeup, I’ll order more Memeboxes.

  7. I’m a minority here, but I am really excited about this box! Alterna (Caviar, specifically) is my favorite hair care brand, and that eye cream looks pretty awesome to me! I’ll use the tan towels (my face doesn’t tan in the tanning bed), and maybe the primer. The only thing I doubt I’ll use is the perfume, but it could throw me a curveball and be something I really like! I love that SS isn’t so make-up heavy… I have Boxycharm for that! I must admit, I’m really glad I’m not getting another nail polish this month… I have WAY too many!

  8. Love SAMPLE SOCIETY, I have subscribed since the revamp! I love they let you SAMPLE REALLY NICE BRANDS, that I don’t find at cvs, walmart! It is so nice, I feel luxurious just getting to try new things! I live in a tiny town, I would have to drive 2 hours to find these products! Great job, at finding great products. Loved everything!

  9. I dropped out of all my sub boxes for awhile because I was sick of the make-up items. I have dozens of eyelines, lip products, etc….

    This box I would have liked to receive (minus the tanning towels).

  10. I was disappointed in this box. Last month was fabulous, and I thought the box was touted as a makeup box. I bought it for my 17 year old who loves to play with the latest makeup trends. The only thing she will use from the box is the primer. I’ll give it another month, but if it continues with the hair and skin care, I’ll be done.

  11. Sad I missed this box! 🙁 I was a day too late, was in the hospital but I have an ipsy and signed back up for Birchbox and have an additional ipsy I signed up for coming. I’m surprised ipsy is sending my new account this month!!!! I signed up like the 5th so super surprised. 🙂
    I so wish that I signed up in time for this box, kicking myself now. Lol 🙂

  12. I am dreaming, somebody will put Prevage eye serum in a box. This is my HG, the only one I saw results in my fine lines and wrinkles around eyes. If I knew it was coming I would buy 6 boxes. LOL

  13. I love the box. Everything in it was usable except the tanning clothes. I don’t use them and wish I could substitute those items for something else. If that feature was added to this box it would be perfect.

  14. I got a shipping e-mail for mine today.

    Granted, the box ARRIVED yesterday…

    • Me too! For a minute I thought I was losing it but sure enough, I got the email for a tracking code the day after I got my box in the mail.

  15. I would have ordered if the eye cream wasn’t in jar packaging. Even if the formula is amazing it’ll start degrading and losing any effectiveness it had as soon as it’s opened.

  16. I personally prefer skin care to make up. This month I subscribed to Boxy Charm, could not resist Hallo perfume and eye palette. But I will cancel after I get it. I don’t need anything from this box, only perfume. I have already more than 10 mascaras, 7 eye palettes, and much more lipstick and nail polish then I can use. As Brooke said makeup last forever… But boxy charm is perfect make up box. From sample society I expect mix of makeup and skin care, for me perfect would be 2 skin care items,1 hair,1 makeup and 1 perfume. No nail polish! 🙂

  17. Love it, as I have loved every box since the revamp!

    Regarding makeup vs skin care…. personally I’ll take skin care. It gets used up faster than makeup and it’s usually more expensive than makeup to buy on your own. Plus, how many eyeliners can I possibly use… but I can always, always use an eye cream. YMMV obviously. 🙂

    • I agree. Also if I use the same moisturizers, serums, etc. for very long, my skin will start to break out. It’s had enough of whatever that product had in it , so I change often. I have to change shampoos and conditioners often too, or my hair will start to look weighed down.

  18. Absolutely love this beauty box! I am happily surprised by the packaging of each item this month! The only downer was the perfume sample but everything else is so amazing, this might be my favorite one so far!!! Amazing value and SO pleased everything arrived in it’s own packaging!

  19. I will note here my thought and hope the industry reps read (read! read!) A lot of people were intrigued by the repackage of the box and diversity from just skin car. The last box was so awesome! It had a whole “look” if you tried a little of everything. Skin care is so very personalized and most true afficianados don’t mix and match products from lines on a whim depending on what comes in the mail that week. If you are a Kiehls gal, you do Kiehls. I you are Rodan & Fields gal, do do R&F. So, what are those of us with dedicated regimes to do with a box where the high value item is duplicative of what we already use. Who doesn’t already do eye cream, you know? Whereas make-up, you can take someone out of her comfort zone and even if you don’t keep using the product it’s fun to try. Even at their best, no one can describe skin care items as “fun”. Hope to see them keep the high standards but go back to the spunky variety from the last couple of months.

    • I don’t consider myself an afficiansdo of anything, especially not in the beauty or skin care realm, but I find the best product from a line and stick with that one product rather than dedicating myself to one brand. I think Dior makes amazing mascara, I’m not a huge fan of their shadows. I love Kiehls for face wash, I really dislike their eye creams (they feel very ineffective, although very soothing). Laura Mercier makes a great tinted moisturizer for me, I hate their loose powder. What I personally like about sampling beauty products is that I can try them without shelling out a lot of money or doing a gift with purchase to try their products. I used to do the GWP to try various Clinique products when I was in high school and college but you had to buy at least $50 in full size product first to do that. I’m spending much less this way and sampling from a much larger range. If I’m using dr. Brandt for eye cream and you send me la mer, I’m going to use the la me that was sent, I don’t care what I was using before. Just because what I’m using right now works doesn’t mean there isn’t something out there that works better. I’m hoping that I find better in every category. 🙂 But for me, most blush and eyeshadow a are pretty equal. Ditto for nail polish. There are better and worse ones but none that are so much better that range into hundreds of dollars for a full size.

      • I was going to say a version of this but you said it perfectly, so I’ll just add: Amen!! I do sub boxes boxes because I always want to know what *else* is out there. If I was married to a specific regimen, I wouldn’t be sampling.

        • Thanks! And if anyone from Sample Society is actually reading this…I want to sample La Mer. Please make that happen. Thank you in advance.

          • OMG I’ve been wanting La Mer for yrs now!..Yes I hope one of our boxes throws some in! 😉

          • I actually sucked it up and bought La Mer from Nordies a few weeks ago because they were having this great deal: buy $150 La Mer cream and get a free $75 La Mer serum AND Nordstrom had a bag of like $90 worth of stuff GWP if you spend $125… so I got the cream, the serum, and the bag for the cost of the cream. Worth checking if they still have the deal maybe.

            I love the La Mer and am holding out til winter to use it every day….

    • All good points, gals. 🙂 Maybe I am suffering stress at the overflowing basket of skin care stuff on my counter. Even the housekeeper was like, “um, you are just 35. Do you wear all this stuff?” Realizing that sounds elitist and I am no Gwennie P or anything! What I loved about the last box was that the items were like nothing I had tried. Mouse you wear on dry hair? Cool. Lipstick (gloss?) with a funky matte finish? Cool. Nail polish that looked like rubber? Interesting. Oil to mix in with foundation? Ok, I will give it a whirl. The hair balm coming looks awesome and a good size and I am glad someone mentioned mascara because I am absolutely drowning in it, too. So maybe to clarify in hopes that the curators do read these, I love finding a product unlike anything on the market lately. Allure’s revamp was the first time I started saving the cards to remember exactly what they sent (and I do it all, BirchBox, Ipsy, Beauty Box 5, Julep, StitchFix, PopSugar, the list goes on.) The eye cream looks like a rocking value, so I will add it to the pile and hope I one day get the collection down to try it, but I would love to see them keep up the – cool, what is this? factor of recent boxes. Agree with y’all, I have my staples. Julep’s face wash oil, which knocked down Bliss after a long reign, Voluminous mascara, now the Tarina Tarantino liners (wow!), etc. And of course anything La Mer would make me swoon. 🙂

  20. I got mine today and I really love it! The leave in conditioner is amazing, the only thing I will not use is the Tarte self tanning sheets. Hopefully I swap it for something. But the value is what i am looking for in a sub box. I already can’t wait for next month! haha 🙂

  21. Oh why oh why did I cancel because I was trying to be good? I told myself I didn’t need eye cream because I am still using the eye cream from the Yuzen box. I want the hair cream!!!!

    I think Sample Society has done an excellent job with their revamping.

  22. I can’t wait to get mine! Which reminds me, you reviewed this before I got my box, so why won’t you reveal your as soon as you get it? Come on, I couldn’t get one, but I cant wait to see what you did! I just know that there will be lot’s of foil packs with samples!

  23. I’m getting mine on Friday 😀

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