Avene

My First Vanity Trove

A few months ago the original Vanity Trove beauty box underwent an innovative revamp from being a monthly subscription service of surprise samples to one that let customers put together their own beauty box by selecting their preferred samples from a personalised pool of samples.

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Beautiful perhaps but it takes a fair bit of work to get you, my pretty!

The idea of being able to select my favorite beauty products from a curated list of samples seemed attractive but the rather fiddly process of setting up an account, completing a beauty profile, and having to like and compile wishlist items to an account did not.

At the time, it just seemed like a lot of work to arrive at a customised Vanity Trove so lazy old me just put Vanity Trove aside and let it slide in favour of easier shopping conquests.

Then, without even trying, I began catching glimpses of other people’s Vanity Troves in their blogs and started developing curious fits of sample-envy after seeing glossy tubes of Rodial Dragon’s Blood, BB Creams, vials of designer fragrances and other glorious beauty goodies popping up in Vanity Troves all over the internet.

Green has never really been my colour.

Green has never really been my colour.

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Pull your socks up, ShopGirl, I told myself mentally. How hard can this be? It’s online shopping for pete’s sake. It’s your Olympic sport. Nothing to it. You’ve ordered from much more complex websites in languages only Google Translate could crack. This is a walk in the park.

Turns out it was raining in my park.
I gave Vanity Trove another go only to be confronted with yet another lacklustre pool of samples and gave up again. Where was all the Rodial Dragon’s Blood and pots of pricey potions that I was seeing in every other bloggers troves?

Was I trapped in some other time warp where only the dull samples go to die? My pool of goods didn’t impress and so I let it go again until…

Now, in my mind there is never a better reason to try something new than when there’s a promotional offer available for it so when I got wind that a RM10 Off coupon code was in the market,  the ‘sales equals savings’ aka ‘kiasu‘ part of me decided it was finally time to take my leap of faith with Vanity Trove and try it for myself.

The coupon that started it all.

The coupon that started it all.

This coupon code of RM10 Off was equal to 20% off the standard customised Vanity Trove price of RM50. Not a mega saving but I don’t know about you, funny things happen to my braincells when I hear the words SALE or PROMOTION. These words cue the auto pilot shopper in my head. SALE. Must. Get. Box.

So I bit my lower lip and braced myself for the still tedious process of updating my beauty profile/ survey again on the Vanity Trove Malaysia site. Even the best surveys are dry and dull affairs and I was truly relieved when it was over and I could finally start choosing my own batch of samples.

This time my sample cache was improved. I don’t know if it was because I decided to employ a little more creative license with it and let some fiction creep in or if the Sample Gods pitied my pathetic persistence but I think I managed to put together a fairly decent trove of my own. Not bad for a first-timer, don’t you think?

My Own Customised Vanity Trove. Finally.

My Own Customised Vanity Trove. Finally.

All my samples arrived in a handsome Vanity Trove sliding drawer box. A very decent, sturdy and unique packaging that is both pretty and professional.

Grow baby, grow! Longer lashes, yes please! This Talkia serum promises lash growth.

Grow baby, grow! Longer lashes, yes please! The Talkia Lipocils Expert serum promises superior lash growth.

Talika is one of those brands that Asian girls just can’t say no to because only a minority of us are blessed with naturally luscious lashes. Lucky for you if you are one of these girls but as for the the rest of us…well, we have to rely on mascara, faux lashes, spiders’ legs or something like this apparently…

A Closer Look at the Talika Lipocils Expert.

The Talika Lipocils Expert.

Initially, when I looked at this I thought it was a mascara but it turns out this is a colourless miracle-serum for growing longer, sexier lashes. This is a sample of Talika’s signature lash serum and promises longer lashes in almost no time but this being only a 2ml sample, methinks this minute amount might barely cause a flutter. Still, it was too cute and too promising to pass up by she with the stubby lashes.

Hydra Floral - my first Decleor product.

Hydra Floral – my first Decleor product.

I’ve been going around and around the local beauty subscriptions and missing out on Decleor even when full beauty boxes of Decleor were available so I was excited to finally get my hands on something or anything from Decleor. I can’t help it, I get beauty sample envy and it comes to me like a rash that won’t abate until I lay my hands on those samples too.

I haven’t tested it yet but I’ve heard a great deal of good reviews as well as some not so great reviews about this brand which only makes me more curious about it. I like a product with a contentious track record.

Hydrasilk

Hydrasilk Day & Night Cream

To be honest, I’ve never heard of this product or brand but a quick Google reveals that it is German-made and a 24-hour moisturising product for delicate and sensitive skin and apparently free from colorants, preservatives, and mineral oils. I’m not a purist and practically swim through my day in a sea of preservatives but this sounds rather angelic and makes me feel a tad guilty for not caring enough about using natural products on my skin *bows head in shame*.

24-hour moisturizing cream with silk proteins, white tea and pure vegetable ingredients. It protects the sensitive skin against the abuses of environmental elements and relieves itching, cracking due to dryness” – etre belle Cosmetics website

Lunasol Powder Compact

Lunasol Skin Fusing Powder Compact ~ Trial Pack

I’m always nervous about getting makeup in a sample box. If the functions are compatible then the shades don’t match and I am left with a product that never again sees the light of day.

I generally pray to avoid all shade-specific, colour-specific makeup samples if I can help it. This Lunasol foundation sample slipped in because I do love fancy claims about ‘skin-fusing’ and I adore powder for its ability to nullify oily skin.

It's a match!

And I believe it’s a match!

Shade-wise, it isn’t too bad. I think the colour is quite close to my skin tone or that it is neutral enough to not have to worry. Either that or the people around me are just too polite to say anything about my dual-toned nose.

BLiv Off With Their Heads

B-Liv Off With Those Heads

Let’s hope those heads roll. The bane of every woman’s life.

If this shows promise I’ll upgrade to the full-size and graduate to Chief Executioner.

Avene

Avene Gentle Gel Cleanser

It seems like Avene has been around forever.

A good, solid brand made famous by its universal appeal for being gentle on the skin. In other words, a safe sample to try. The road to clean skin is a long and arduous one and cleansers are a bathroom staple.

My Pretties.

A first Vanity Trove with all my pretties.

I think I did fairly well as far as samples go with my first Vanity Trove.

After getting through my initial reservations about the Vanity Trove I have come to like the idea of being able to choose samples.

Do you think I did well?

The Vanity Trove doesn’t negate my other subscriptions to other beauty boxes and bags but it does add another dimension to my beauty box sampling experience.

I do like that the Vanity Trove takes away some of the risk of getting random samples. After a few rounds of various subscriptions, I am no longer a beauty box virgin but it also means that I have had my share of surprises that in some cases have been a little too surprising so this innovative business model by Vanity Trove lets subscribers like me have more control over getting samples that might suit us better.

A great feature of the new Vanity Trove is that since there is no longer any monthly box so you can simply pick out a customised trove whenever you like. This saves the trouble of having to pine over a monthly ship date and you have more control over when you want your next Vanity Trove beauty box fix which can be as often or as infrequent as you fancy.

I’m still not keen on doing all the profiling work at the Vanity Trove site, or taking part in all the ‘liking’ and ‘wishlisting’ but it seems to get easier to throw together a Vanity Trove once the initial trepidations are cast aside.

Perhaps the one good thing to come from all this wishlist duty is that members have the chance to win certain full-sized products if you also follow Vanity Troves’ messages in your Facebook newsfeed. These giveaways are run by the ‘Vanity Trove Beauty Genie’ and her duty is to grant wishes for full-sized products.

To enrol for these prompts just LIKE Vanity Trove Malaysia on Facebook. You’ll get instructions to Like or Wish for certain brands and products every once in a while and once you do all of that, just sit back and wait to see if you’re a lucky winner of the said product. Announcements of the winners are also made on Facebook. I can verify that these giveaways are the real deal as I have personally won a full-sized item from the Vanity Trove Beauty Genie. Thanks, Beauty Genie!

And now that I have the hang of it, Vanity Trove is growing on me.

I’ve actually picked out a second box (a selection of mostly Kose items) as a gift for a friend and a third box (all goodies for me – another review to come soon) in the delay to getting this review out so yes, I’m converted and perhaps even a little bit addicted.

My only hope now is that Vanity Trove will update the samples cache more often as I think I could part more regularly with good money for more boxes if Vanity Trove would change up the sample mix more frequently.

Anyway, service is great and once paid for, each Vanity Trove is packed and shipped out by courier and can arrive at your doorstep in seven working days or less from the date of order.

On a final note, Vanity Trove are also selling Special Edition Troves alongside their custom box service. These are specially curated, themed offerings occasionally featuring some full-sized and exclusive products not usually available in their general sample selections.

These are the Special Edition Vanity Troves presently available-:

* Vanity Trove Nuxe – RM50

* Vanity Trove SaSa Hari Raya Edition – RM70

* Vanity Trove Lierac – RM120

To discover Vanity Trove Malaysia for yourself…click on the logo below.

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