Margarita Bloom is a bath and body company that has a really neat retro vibe. And by “retro,” I mean that it’s a charming mishmash of the 18th century to the 50’s. The packaging is really lovely, and sure to appeal to the history nerds among us (of which I proudly am one).
The website carries this aesthetic over, even though I personally find it visually overwhelming and difficult to navigate. (Is there a search box? IDK. If I can’t find a search box within 10 seconds, that’s a usability issue.)
In December, I placed an order for a moisturizer – Ravishing Rosalee’s Hibiscus & Rosehip Rose Serum. See, I have a love/hate relationship with moisturizing my skin. On one hand, I have almost always had oily skin, and even the lightest of facial moisturizers has turned me into an oil slick. And then come the zits, because eff you, that’s why. But in the winter, the area around my nose, and only that area, gets suuuuper dry and flaky. It’s a curse.
So I bought a full-sized Ravishing Rosalee, and I’ve been using it for about a month. And I really like it. It’s got a tea rose scent, that’s right up my alley. The pump gives you the PERFECT amount to cover your nose area (and if you’re doing your whole face, two pumps will do it). It has a very nice texture that sinks into the skin and does not feel oily. I started using it under my eyes, as well, and overall, I can say it’s a really nice product for my finicky skin. (Plus, did I mention cute packaging?)
As I rarely purchase just one thing in any order (because shipping carriers’ prices are dumb and I feel like I’m getting a better deal on shipping if I order two or more things… my logic), I wanted to pick something else out, but I couldn’t figure out what. Luckily, Margarita Bloom had this covered. They have a sample box! Which… I can’t re-find on the site because there’s no search function and I don’t have the patience to go through the whole site to re-find it.
But look! Cute packaging!
- French Barbie Lavender Brown Sugar Scrub
- Aphrodite, Goddess of Love Buttercreme
- Charmed, I’m Sure Pumpkin Face Masque
- Antoinette’s Rose Garden Salt Soak with Rose Petals
- Sugar N Spice & Everything Nice Gingerbread Body Scrub
- Sexpot Pomegranate Deodorant
- Pink & Rosy Lip Scrub
I’ve had a chance to use and consider all of the samples, so here are my brief reviews.
French Barbie Lavender Brown Sugar Scrub: this was the thing I was most excited by in the sampler. I love lavender. It also doesn’t seem to be available on the site (under exfoliators, anyway), which– what’s the point in sending out a sample for something that’s not available? I don’t get it. Anyhow, I think I would have liked this very much in a white sugar base. As it was, the brown sugar competed with the lavender too much, both in terms of color and scent– the brown sugar was predominant, with some lavender scent mixed in. It was scrubby and moisturizing, so it totally did what it said on the tin, but it just wasn’t my cuppa. (There is one use in this product, and good luck digging the scrub out of the plastic pouch in the shower.)
Aphrodite, Goddess of Love Buttercreme: this was a thick body butter lotion product. I thiiink it’s the same as this product? Anyway, I unexpectedly loved this. It’s very creamy and heavy and perfect for dry wintry legs. The scent is very Pink Sugar– unabashedly desserty and almost cloyingly sweet. But it worked for me on the nights I applied it, even though I don’t usually go for ultra-sweet stuff. If you like sweet scents, this is a nice one. (There are two or three uses in the pouch, depending on how much you use.)
Charmed, I’m Sure Pumpkin Face Masque: oh, a MASK. You know what this means… ZOMBIE FACE. Anyhow, the pro to this is that it’s a pre-made mask. I am one of those people who hates mixing their own, as it inevitably results in a too-thin, runny mess. But this is a nice consistency.
My face (as I imagine, many faces) is mildly sensitive to spices, and cinnamon was listed among the ingredients, albeit very close to the end. It smells like pumpkin puree, not spicy like pumpkin pie. When I put it on, I did feel a tingle for the first minute or two, and I contemplated taking it off, but it settled down.
Anywho, this did not irritate my skin when it was off. No redness or rashes. My skin was soft, as well. It’s hard to judge its overall effectiveness on one use (which is what the pouch held), but it was nice enough.
Antoinette’s Rose Garden Salt Soak with Rose Petals: I really enjoyed this product. I love taking baths (when I can be bothered enough to scrub out my tub first because, hi, Virgo here). The salts had a light rosy scent and dissolved nicely in the water. The make-or-break thing about whether or not you’ll like this product depends on how you feel about the mini roses in the blend. You’ll either think it’s charming or go “urgh, stuff floating in my water, unclean, unclean!” I am in the former camp, but if you’re in the latter: toss this in a section of old pantyhose that you knot off at both ends The salts dissolve, but there’s no mess. Voila. (There is one use in the pouch.)
Sugar N Spice & Everything Nice Gingerbread Body Scrub: A very nice scent of true-to-life gingerbread in a medium-scrubbiness white sugar base. It smells divine, and it works as a softening exfoliator.
The problem I have with this product, were I to buy it in full size, is the price. It’s $30.00 for 12-13 oz. Now, say there’s 12.5 oz. That’s roughly $2.40/oz. I’m going to compare that to two other similar products that work just as well. Villainess’s GingerSnapped! Smooch has a nearly identical scent and scrubbiness. It is $11 for 8 oz. That’s $1.37/oz. Paintbox Soapworks’ Sorbetto product has the same scrubbiness (although they don’t currently have a gingerbread scent). It’s $12 for 11 oz, which is $1.09/oz. I’d say that Villainess’s & Paintbox’s prices are about the median for the indie scrubs I’ve tried, and Margarita Bloom’s are much more expensive. It smells nice, but it doesn’t, in my opinion, significantly outperform the others enough to justify the price.
Sexpot Pomegranate Deodorant: This is another product that doesn’t seem to be actually available, although there are Rose, Lemon Pound Cake, and Strawberry Shortcake options. I could tell right off the bat that this was going to be a “not for me” product. It’s a deodorant, but it’s not an anti-perspirant. Which is a product that people want– just not people like me who sweat CONSTANTLY whether they’re cold or warm, and who habitually avoid wearing bright colors for this specific reason. (In my defense: it’s not smelly sweat, but it’s sweat. I use clinical anti-antiperspirant because I like wearing colors.)
I did feel like I had to give the product a fair shake, though, so I waited to try it until a day I didn’t have to leave the house. In the little package, it comes out like this:
Which: let me just say that it comes in a tube when bought full-sized. But for the sample, I had to smear it around my armpits with my fingers and it was kinda icky. (There were probably two applications there, but the hell if I was going to put that used gob of stuff back in the non-resealable packaging and save it for next time.)
THAT SAID: it smelled nice, and it kept on smelling nice for 12+ hours. So if you are one of those people who is anti- antiperspirant, this may be a product for you!
Pink & Rosy Lip Scrub: This is another one I knew was not going to be my thing. Loose lip scrubs just aren’t as practical for my patience level as ones that are pre-formatted into sticks. And they do, in fact, sell a product that is just like that! Meanwhile I can’t find Pink & Rosy on the site with the other skincare stuff.
Okay, so the pros: it’s very nice smelling. Usually rose lip products remind me of soap, and this one doesn’t, probably because the rose is nicely balanced with honey. It’s sweet and a bit oily. It scrubbed and moisturized.
The cons: it was crumbly and messy and rained sugar down upon my clothes. I suspect that I would have more to say about its overall efficacy (ie, does it work when used repeatedly?) if it had been packaged differently– I am not about to stick my fingers on multiple occasions into a plastic package that cannot be re-sealed, and then put that onto my lips. Nope.
So, there you have it– I was a bit let down with the sample box, cute packaging aside. I didn’t like that almost half of the products were either discontinued or unavailable– that, to me, says “we had these lying around, this’ll do.” It’s certainly not the way to introduce someone to your brand (which is who I assume would be buying the sample pack). If you are looking for a one-time use kit to pamper yourself, you may have better luck.
So, my experience with Margarita Bloom was an uneven one. I am really lucky in that I really like the one thing I bought in full-size. I am less happy with the thought given to the packaging and selection of the samples I paid for.
Oh, and PS, I didn’t forget. ZOMBIE!