Use It Or Lose It: November 2014 Sample Edition! | Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog

01 December, 2014

Use It Or Lose It: November 2014 Sample Edition!

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Whoops, so it's December already. Darn those shorter months without 31 days (says the person born in February). I did manage to select a few samples for Use It Or Lose It reviewing purposes before the end of the month though—let's take a look at what I chose!

New to my Use It Or Lose It series before? Each month I select a few beauty/personal care items I've been hoarding in my stash, and vow to either use them up and review them or throw them away! I chose five products this time—all samples, all the time. Let's see if any of these samples coaxed me into buying bigger sizes!

Kirk's Original Coco Castile Shampoo
($4.79 for 16oz):

A natural shampoo made with a hypoallergenic, 100% vegetable base. I think I received this as free sample with order? Not sure. In any case, it exceeded my expectations—it cleansed my hair well without leaving it frizzy or limp-feeling. This smells very refreshing and minty... not my first scent choice, but not bad and I think Stan would really like it, so I'll have to keep this in mind if we ever actually use up the 8,000 bottles of shampoo that are currently in our shower.

Would I buy it? Yes.

Matrix Oil Wonders Egyptian Hibiscus Color Caring Oil ($24 for 4.2oz):
I received samples of this with an Ulta order I placed recently. This is a multi-purpose hair oil that can be used before shampooing as a primer (to repel water/protect color), to mix with conditioner, or use as a leave-in treatment after conditioning. I tried it as a leave-in treatment, and holy shit, the smell almost killed me. It's like being violently smacked in the face with a bunch of real gardenias, which for me results in endless sneezing fits. It probably doesn't help that my allergies have been bothering me lately, but yeah, this was NOT a winner for me. Too bad, because the texture was nice—not too slippery or greasy.

Would I buy it? No.

Whish Shave Cream Acai Grapefruit ($20 for 150ml):
I got this in my May Birchbox and have been hoarding it ever since for reasons unknown. I think "leg conditioner" would be a better way to describe this than shaving cream—it's thick, moisturizing, and frankly just feels like a thick, goopy hair conditioner. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing—I often shave with conditioner when I'm out of other stuff. Unfortunately this was a total fail in the scent department for me though... it does smell kind of citrusy, but there's a faint underlying funkiness that isn't pleasant? Acai and grapefruit, now with extra brie.

Would I buy it? Never.

LJH 5a Control Cleansing Gel (26,000원/approx. USD $23.50 for 150ml):
I got this in the first Memebox Free From Oil & Troubles. Not sure why I didn't get around to trying this until now. Supposedly this is formulated for oily and "shiny" skin, but I tried it on my not-too-shiny and not-too-oily skin and there were no adverse results. I'm on the fence about this one—the Memebox info card actually suggested to use this as a first cleanser (like in place of a balm or oil) and them follow up with a foaming cleanser. I actually think this would be better-suited to the second cleansing step, because it doesn't remove makeup that well but does feel nice on the skin. I tested this on one of my little home pH strips and it registered at about 6.5, if anyone's curious (accuracy not guaranteed).

Would I buy it? Probably not. It worked OK for me as a second cleansing step, but there are other cleansers that perform as well or better at a lower price point.

Skinfood Watery Berry Sun Lotion SPF30 PA++ (price unknown):
I think I got this as a free sample with a TesterKorea order a loooong time ago. So long ago that I think it might be discontinued—I couldn't find full-sized bottles of this from any legit sources online. What say you, people who live near physical Skinfood shops? Have you seen the Watery Berry Sun Lotion recently? I know other items are still available from the Watery Berry line, but this one seems to have gone missing. Anyway, I liked this sun lotion well enough—it has a very light, not-too-greasy texture. The only issue I had with it is the scent, which is sort of like powder mixed with rubbing alcohol. Yum! It did dissipate pretty quickly once I rubbed it in though.

Would I buy it? I don't think I can, so... no?

Well, that's that. Other that the Kirk's shampoo this month was a bust, but one good discovery is better than none, right? Now I just need to use up all the shampoo I already have. I'll be seeing you in about six years, Kirk's.

Have you tried any of the products featured in this month's UIOLI? Feel free to link up any sample destashing/empties-type posts in the comments!

Disclosure: Any items with * were part of a beauty box or set provided to me for review purposes. Anything else featured above was purchased by me or received as a free gift with purchase. This post contains affiliate links. For more information, check out my full disclosure policy.


  1. Mmm, brie! But not in my skincare.

  2. I have never heard of using an oil to protect your hair color. Is is like the Nexxus color assure? I hate super floral scents too so I prob wouldn't like that one either.

  3. Hahaha. Well, unless it's the Memebox Wine & Cheese box maybe?

  4. Yeah it's kind of like Color Assure in that sense! But I tried it as a post-conditioning treatment. If you don't like florals stay faaaar away from this one. Someone told me on FB that the other scents are nicer though.

  5. Sarah @ bitsandboxes.comDecember 2, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    Oo! Minty shampoo is my favorite!

  6. I actually like Whish shaving cream although I can't remember how this one smelt. I'm sure I got this in my Birchbox as well. I however loved the Blueberry one which I won from a giveaway beginning of the year. It just smelt amazing!! And yes, it's really thick and super moisturizing. Have you tried eos shaving cream one? They're a little less thick and definitely spot on the scent department and they're a lot cheaper! xx

  7. If you like minty shampoos and stuff like Dr. Bronner's then you would probably love this!

  8. I haven't tried the eos cream but it's been on my list of things to try forever, lol. I'm willing to believe that Blueberry Whish smells better... who knows, it could have also been an "off" batch. I will certainly give it another shot if another sample pops up in my beauty boxes!

  9. The last time I got my hair cut, the sylist used that Matrix oil in my hair. While I don't remember a smell, I did think it was a little too heavy for me. I don't think I've heard of any of these other products.


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