Monday, January 21, 2013

DermStore Fall 2012 Super Luxe Grab Bags (Picture heavy!)

Sorry for going MIA for so long. I have a good reason, I promise. We moved home. Again. 

It was crazy hectic after Taipei because I had to sort through all my things to prepare for this next move, yet another temporary arrangement until May. We spent a week driving across the country and just today we finally got our internet up and running, after a whole week of waiting, tearing our hair out and looking up everything with our phones, not to mention all the work piling up at my office T.T Let me tell you, smart phones are nice, but they do not replace the good ol' computers. I guess we've been super spoiled too with our super sonic internet up and running on the same day or the next day while we were in Japan and Taiwan. 

Anyway, last fall I decided to try out these Super Luxe Grab Bags from Dermstore. I'm not sure if they do this every year, but this is the first time I actually paid attention and decided a skincare surprise would be nice. The problem was that I couldn't decide which of the 4 bags to get, and so I bought all 4 ^.^ Together, these 4 Grab Bags took care of Christmas presents for myself (what, a girl can't buy her own presents?) and stocking stuffers for my family. 
***Pictures from Dermstore.com.

Over all, these bags are great! They contain items I would never buy on my own accord but they make great gifts and I wouldn't mind trying out a lot of them. I do have one giant complaint though - none of the packing lists were itemized! For each bag, it just reads "Luxe Grab Bag # - # piece" and that was it! Yes, I did call Dermstore customer service, hoping they would have an actual list of items in each Grab Bag. However, instead I was told as soon as an item sells out, they no longer have any of its details, and these bags were sold out just a day after their release!

But Dermstore was really business savvy about it though. To make up for the lack of information they gave me a 20% refund on Bags 3 and 4 just in case I am missing something, and as I dealt with the confusion of having to guess which were part of the bag and which were the freebies, I couldn't continue to blame them ^.^" In the end, I ended up with a calculated value (versus the advertised value) that is inclusive of the deluxe samples in each bag as some are worth quite a bit! Do keep in mind though that without an itemized packing list, I am only guessing and don't really know for sure.  

Super Luxe Grab Bag #1: 6 pieces + 1 free gift + 2 samples, price - $17.99, advertised value - $149, calculated value with deluxe samples - $313! Woh, what the...?!? Either Dermstore accidentally mixed up the packing lists for Bags 1 and 4 or I scored majorly with Bag 1! I doubt it's the latter, which means it is probably the former. There are 6 full sizes and 2 deluxe samples in this bag, in addition to the freebies. Considering calculated value, this may very well be Bag 4 and not Bag 1 (see the supposed Bag 4 below for further evidence of the mix up).


British Science Formulations Hair Strengthener full size 6fl oz./177mL, retail $19.95. Perfect gift for my mum because she's all for hair strengthening products.


Priori Replenishing Masque full size 4fl oz./120mL, retail $60. Also gifted to my mum.

Columbia Healing Cream full size 3.5 oz./99.25g, retail $29.


NeoStrata Eye Cream full size 0.5 oz./15g, retail $42.


Simply Bright Concentrated Brightening Serum full size 0.5fl oz./15mL, retail $75. Also gifted this to my mum because she loves whitening/brightening products.

Promaxyl RapidLash Eyelash Enhancing Serum full size 0.1fl oz./3mL, retail $49.99. Using this right now. Will review later.


Kinara Nighttime Skin Quencher Exfoliating Hydrator deluxe sample 0.5fl oz./15mL, calculated value $22.06 (full size $75/1.7fl oz.).


Perricone MD Cosmeceuticals Vitamin C Ester 15 deluxe sample 0.17fl oz./5mL., calculated value $15 (full size $120/1.36fl oz./40mL). Gifted this to mum in law.

- Clear plastic cosmetic zipper pouch, not pictured. You can see the black zipper in the top full bag picture, but I figured it's nothing special and so I didn't take a picture of it individually.

Dermstore Lip Quench Moisture Infused Lip Treatment full size 0.28 oz., retail $12, this is probably the free gift, because I got the same in all 4 bags! Since I have 4, I gave one to my mum, sister, mum in law, and sister in law ^.^


- Sonya Dakar Hydrasoft Lotion sample.

- Queen Bee Firming & Restoring Rich Face Cream sample.

Super Luxe Grab Bag #2: 7 pieces + 1 free gift + 2 samples, price - $19.99, advertised value - $188, calculated value with deluxe samples - $186.49. There are 4 full sized items and 2 deluxe samples (I counted the whole Talika Lash Conditioning Cleanser + Lipocils Expert + silver pouch as 1 deluxe sample). Only 1 sample was included but I don't really care ^.^ Regardless, the calculated value somewhat points to this being the correct Bag 2, but again, without the itemized packing list I can't be sure.


British Science Formulations Hair Strengthener full size 6fl oz./177mL, retail $19.95. Since I gifted the other bottle to my mum I kept this one to use. Will review soon.


Billy Jealousy Illicit Pearlized Body Wash full size 8fl oz./236 mL, retail $20. Gifted this to my little brother who is now in college.


Phytomer Seaweed Soap full size 5.2oz./150g, retail $20. Gifted this to mum in law because she loves exfoliating soaps. It smells heavenly too, even from inside the box! Still, I can't believe the price of this bar of soap. $20?!? It better has gold in it or something! Good thing it was included in the grab bag because I would never ever pay that price for a bar of soap. Sheesh!


Goldfaden MD 3-in-1 Face Tightening & Firming Complex full size 0.5fl oz./15mL, retail $65. Unfortunately, this item has actually been discontinued.


Elemental Herbology Facial Glow Radiance Peel deluxe sample 1fl oz./30mL, calculated value $37.65 (full size $65/1.7fl oz.)

- Talika Oil Free Lash Conditioning Cleanser deluxe sample 1.7fl oz./50mL, calculated value $12.50 (full size $25/3.4fl oz.)
- Talika Lipocils Expert deluxe sample 0.07fl oz./2 mL, calculated value $11.39 (full size $55/0.338fl oz./10mL)
- Talika silver zipper pouch

- Clear plastic cosmetic zipper pouch, not pictured at all, not even in the top full bag picture because I didn't have any room to fit it in ^.^

Dermstore Lip Quench Moisture Infused Lip Treatment full size 0.28 oz., retail $12, again probably the free gift as I got the same in all 4 bags! It is not pictured in this Bag 2, however it was included.


- Elta MD Skincare Body Lotion sample.

Super Luxe Grab Bag 3: 6 pieces + 1 free gift + 2 samples, price - $24.99, advertised value - $211, calculated value with deluxe samples - $232.36, counting the $125 retail for the Smartlash instead of its current price of $29.95 on Dermstore. There are 5 full sized items and 2 deluxe samples, but no other samples. Again, I don't really care. The calculated value also points to this being the correct Bag 3, but I'm not sure. Save for the velvety Raw Color Foundation Brush, this is my least favorite out of all 4 bags!

- Red Point Eye-Lifting Shadow Duo (color Plumage) full size 0.11oz./3g, retail $22.50. Gifted this to mum in law.


SmartLash Eyelash Enhancer full size 0.16fl oz./4.8mL, retail $125 (it even says so right on the UPC barcode on the box!), although Dermstore is now selling it for just $29.95, less than a fourth the retail and that's not a sale price! Not sure how that works, and not sure how I feel about this as counting that price would substantially lower the value of this bag.


- Raw Color Maximum Coverage Foundation Brush, retail $35 but has been discontinued. This brush is incredibly dense and is super soft and silky! It feels like velvet on my hand - I don't get it, why is it discontinued? I kept it to blend cream blushes as I don't use foundation, neither does anyone in my family, for that matter. We're all too lazy, I guess ^.^
- Raw Color Concealer Brush, retail $20. Kept this to use with liquid/gel/cream eye liners.
- Raw Color Multi-Tasking Retractable Brush, retail $15. Gifted this to my mum as she carries a blush in her purse and keeps one at her office too.


- Murad Absolute Bronzing Boost SPF 15 PA++ deluxe sample 0.17fl oz./5mL, calculated value $6.46 (full size $38/1fl oz.). Gave this to sister in law because my mum and sister will never go near anything "bronzing." I might use it (I do have a couple of powder bronzers), but I don't like any skincare/cosmetic item with SPF that's not a full fledge sunscreen. 

- Boscia Skin Perfecting Primer deluxe sample 0.30fl oz./10mL, calculated value $8.40 (full size $28/1fl oz.). This product has been discontinued. Gave this to sister in law too. She likes primers.

- This particular Bag 3 didn't come with a clear plastic cosmetic zipper pouch but instead a nice black polyester mini tote bag! It is shown in the top full bag picture, but I forgot to take an individual picture of it before packing it away in storage. Oh well :)

Dermstore Lip Quench Moisture Infused Lip Treatment full size 0.28 oz., retail $12.


Super Luxe Grab Bag 4: 8 piece + 1 free gift + 2 samples, price - $29.99, advertised value - $281, calculated value with deluxe samples - $176.36. There are only 3 full sized items and 2 deluxe samples, and with that calculated value, I am convinced the packing lists for Bags 1 and 4 have indeed been misplaced and this bag is Bag 1 and not Bag 4. Given the fact that I bought all 4 bags at once and they were all sent to the same address, such a mistake is not inconceivable.


Vivoderm Natural Skincare Facial Toner full size 4.4oz./120mL, retail $24.


Fiafini Skincare Deluxe Anti-Aging Eye Cream full size 0.5fl oz./15mL, retail $40.


- Good True Beautiful Inc. Forever Lily Eau de Parfum full size 0.125oz., retail $50. Gifted to my mum as she loves all perfumes.


- Elemental Herbology Biodynamic Facial Souffle deluxe sample 1fl oz./30mL, calculated value $44.71 (full size $76/1.7fl oz.).


SkinMedica Dermal Repair Cream deluxe sample 0.25oz./7.4g, calculated value $17.65 (full size $120/1.7oz.).


- Clear plastic cosmetic zipper pouch, barely shown in the top full bag picture peeking out from underneath the Good True Beautiful Forever Lily perfume.

Dermstore Lip Quench Moisture Infused Lip Treatment full size 0.28 oz., retail $12.


- Elta MD Skincare Renew Eye Gel sample.


- Calendula Creme Oil-Free System sample.

So there you have them, the 4 Super Luxe Grab Bags from Dermstore with all their contents listed. Each bag contains a mix of full sizes and deluxe samples, more full sizes and less deluxe samples, which is a good thing. If Dermstore were to offer these Grab Bags again this fall, you can at least get an idea of what were included last year. Actually, I just did a survey for them a couple of weeks ago and they dropped hints about making these bags into a monthly subscription service, so you might see them sooner rather than later. My recommendation? Solely based on the calculated value, I would totally go for Bag 4. It may be the most expensive, but the $30 I paid was less than a tenth of its calculated value of $313, so it was a hell of a deal with many nice full size items. 

To be honest though, while I have a least favorite out of the 4 bags (Bag 3), I actually don't have a favorite. Sure, the bags are all very nice, but several of those items (Priori Replenishing Masque, NeoStrata Eye Cream, Kinara Nighttime Skin Quencher Exfoliating Hydrator, Elemental Herbology Facial Glow Radiance Peel, SkinMedica Dermal Repair Cream, etc.) contain some form of acid, be it AHA or whatever, which means it may or may not work with my regular use of retinoid, which has been a part of my skincare routine for almost 6 years now and will not change anytime soon. I can always give them away, but even then I have to be picky about who I give them to, whether that person wears a sunscreen regularly or not. I would never give a skincare product that contains an acid to someone I know who could careless about wearing sunscreen. Of course everyone should care about wearing a sunscreen everyday, but I'm not giving them these skincare gifts to force them to care about sunscreen now, am I?

2 comments:

Rin said...

I like reading your blog and all the reviews you write. Just wanted to point out that "gift" is a noun not a verb. You gave someone a gift.

D. said...

Hi Rin,

Thank you very much for reading and commenting, and correcting :)

I do realize "gift" is a noun, and that it is also a transitive verb. I may have used it in unconventional ways, and that is the beauty of language - it morphs and changes. For example, Google, which was once a proper noun, is now also a verb.

Cheers,
D.

Popular Posts

Related Posts with Thumbnails