DermStore Grab Bag, $35, occasionally issued, skin, makeup and/or hair products
Promo: You can save 15% when you sign up for a new account or $10 if someone refers you (ask me)
I paid $25 +tax after discount
Box retail value: $131-167, My value: $58
Enjoyment Factor: ☺
Every so often DermStore issues mystery grab bags with an assortment of full size and sample products. They usually sell out quickly and before any actual reviews of the items are out. Still, they sometimes are brought back and reviews can be helpful to get an idea of the sort of products you can expect in these grab bags.
I can’t resist DermStore’s grab bags because they are usually incredible values. Still, I’m swimming in beauty products and DermStore often sends out repeats, specially of its tiny samples. Still, I gave in and armed with a $10 off coupon I ordered this box. Only later I remembered that I almost never wear makeup. Indeed, I won’t be able to use half of the products in this bag, but it’s such a good value that I feel I got my money’s worth anyway.
For some reason, DermStore has actually deleted the product pages for these boxes rather than just saying “out of stock”. But they promised 13 items for this box with a total value of $170. DermStore usually exaggerates their values, but this time they got pretty close. I got 5 full size products, 5 sample size products, 2 perfume vials and a value-free sample; using the highest retail prices of this items the value of this box was $167. Though I won’t be using many of the products, the values of those I will use is around $60, and I would probably have spent as much as the box to buy items similar to those I got.
This is what the grab bag came with:
Smart FX Smart Brow Black/Brown Tinted Brow Filler + bonus all in one perfecting brush, 2.2 ml full size, $61 ($30)
This is the newer version of the brow filler I got on my BeautyFix box back in May. Apparently there have been changes to the brush and formulation, which have upset former fans. It’s not surprising as I’m sure this product is all about your technique in applying it. I didn’t bother really learning how to apply the one I got, and I’m not going to bother with this one either.
SmartFX is a Target owned brand, which always makes me suspect of the price it sells at. It’s twice of what it was before they changed the formula. My bet is that this probably for sale at 50% off often. It’s made in the USA.
SmartFX Volume Extend Mascara, 7.5 ml full size, $20
I don’t remember getting a SmartFX mascara before, but can that really be true? In any case, it’s going in my “to try later” box. I’m sure I’ll use it. Made in the USA.
Cargo Essential Lip Gloss in Vienna (hot pink), 2.5 ml full size, $16
This lip gloss gets fairly good reviews. The hot pink color seems too out there even for my daughter, but it supposedly applies sheer. I’ll keep it to give it to her as a stocking stuffer. Made in Canada.
Cargo Liquid Eyeliner in black, 11 ml full size, $20
This one gets very good reviews, but none of us use liquid eyeliner, so this will be up for swap. It’s made in Germany.
100% Pure creamy nail polish in Kiss (dark fuchsia), .5 oz, $12
My daughter looked at this nail polish and immediately said she loved the color. Unfortunately, we have lots and lots of nail polishes and too many pinks as it is. So I’ll be swapping it or using it as a stocking stuffer. It gets very good reviews, though. Made in the USA.
Spackle under make up primer by Laura Geller, .5 oz sample, $7.5
This is a clear primer that you can use under makeup or by itself. It’s very light and moisturizing when you apply it (though you should apply it on top of your moisturizer). Unfortunately, according to a blind test by my daughter, it made my skin look worse. Perhaps it’ll do a better job on my other daughter. Made in USA.
Cover FX BB Gel Mattifying Anti-Blemish Treatment in N Medium, 5 ml sample, $7
I got this same BB cream in the last DermStore makeup bag. I haven’t used it since, but I don’t wear BB cream in summer. I’ll swap this one. Made in USA.
Vichy Thermal Spa Water, 1.69 oz purse size, $7 – 9.5 ($4.5)
This is a just a little spray bottle with a tiny amount of mineral water. How they can justify charging $14 for the full size bottle (5 oz) is beyond me, but I have to admit that I do like it. Then again I like facial mists. I would not buy this product for all sorts of environmental reasons, but I’m glad I have it. It’s made in France.
Note that while DermStore actually has this size for sale for $9.5 (and Amazon has it for $7), the bottle I got says clearly “not for resale”. The actual product value is closer to $4.5
DermaBlend Long Wear Makeup Remover, 1 oz sample, $4
This product gets mixed reviews, with some people swearing by it and other warnings is not that effective on long wearing makeup and that it clogs pores. It’s probably a good idea to wash this off instead of just using tissues. I’ve found the DHC deep cleansing oil from the April Beauty Fix box to be a pretty great makeup remover, but we’ll eventually run out of it so I’m sure we’ll use this. DermaBlend is a L’Oreal brand and this product is made in the USA.
CLEAN Shower Fresh Eau de Parfum, 5 ml mini rollerball, $6
Shampoo. That’s how my daughter described this perfume. I’d agree, though perhaps it’s a bit sweeter than a typical shampoo. It’s not the best scent out there, but if you just want to smell clean, this will do. I’m sure I’ll use it.
Tocca Margaux Eau de Parfum, 1.5 ml sample vial, $2
I probably shouldn’t even have bothered testing this fragrance, as I don’t like vanilla in my perfumes (with some exceptions). But I did and regret it as I truly hate this fragrance. On the plus side, this is a good size sample for anyone who does like the perfume. On the minus side, it doesn’t have a sprayer.
Apothia IF Eau de Parfum, sample spray vial, $2
Before trying this perfume, I never realized what it was to truly, truly hate a perfume. To me this smells horrible, one of the worst things I’ve smelled. Other that some acrid notes of fetid cheese, which actually lighten the scent, I can’t actually describe it. The image that comes to my mind is rat poison.
Now, the three other members of my household thought it smelled like sweet candy. My oldest daughter thought it smelled artificial, while my younger one described it as sweet tarts and claimed it immediately. I have a feeling that my sense of smell is very particular.
Sample of Sigma Spa Brush Cleaning Glove
This is an interesting concept. A rubber glove with different surfaces to help clean your make-up brushes. At $35 for the full glove, that seems rather expensive and I imagine you can find something that will do a similar job for less. But I liked getting the tiny sample.