Monday, 18 February 2013

Samples Galore! (What I'm Testing at the Moment)

Hey, everyone! I recently realized that I have a ton of skin care and makeup samples on the go at the moment, so I thought I'd feature them here, along with my initial impressions. They won't be comprehensive reviews, as many of my thoughts are a bit preliminary, but I'll do my best to briefly describe the product and offer a quick take on each. Maybe I'll just pique your interest in a few of these goodies!

If there are any of the products below that you'd like to see more detailed reviews of, let me know and I'll get some posts in the works!

Here they are:

Chantecaille Magnolia, Jasmine, and Lily Healing Emulsion
A brand new offering from Chantecaille, this rich moisturizer is designed to soothe the skin and calm redness and irritation. With the cult status of the brand's Jasmine and Lily Healing mask, it's no surprise that the range is being expanded. I've only used this once so far, applying a generous layer before bed. I definitely woke to find more soothed, calm skin, so I'm eager to try this again!

Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Bright Skin Tone Correcting Serum
This serum from Origins' Dr. Weil line is one of the many on the market claiming to brighten skin tone and tone down pigmentation in the skin. I've been using this nightly for the past couple weeks and I have to say that I'm rather smitten! Smells lovely (like black licorice), hasn't broken me out, and leaves my skin looking fresh and glowy. A full review to come soon for sure!

Caudalie Divine Oil
This isn't a sample per se, but rather a mini-sized version of this luxe body oil. Caudalie touts their Divine Oil as a versatile, multi-purpose oil suited to moisturize the body, hair, and face. I've used this a couple of times so far as a post-shower treat on my arms and legs and have been really impressed with the lush, sophisticated scent and the way it leaves my skin feeling moisturized but not at all greasy. Luxurious, indeed!

Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Remover
I used this popular pigmentation-lightening serum for just over a week around the holidays. It did leave my skin a bit brighter and the texture was pleasant; however, I'm fairly certain this was responsible for a few subsequent breakouts. Didn't want to keep testing that hypothesis, so this sample has been sidelined for awhile now.

Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence Moisturizing Toner
I purchased this as part of Tata Harper's Jet Set Survival Kit just before the holidays and used it up over a few weeks last month. Although touted as a moisturizing toner, I actually found it to be quite toning and clarifying on my combination-oily skin. It had an absolutely amazing scent and really left my face feeling bright and even. Will be tempted to buy a full size of this for the summertime!

Ojon Damage Reverse Instant Restorative Hair Serum 
Hair oils have been all the rage of late, and this offering from Ojon has been adding to the hype. This particular treatment promises to moisturize and repair damaged tresses, which led me to select it as a Sephora Beauty Insider freebie earlier this month. I've used this a couple times so far and, while it was a pleasure to use, I wasn't blown away by the results. But will definitely give this a few more chances to wow me!

Givenchy Mister Mat Mattifying Powder Gel Velvety Smooth Complexion
Because of my skin's oily tendencies, I've had to shun many a foundation due to lack of staying power. Consequently, I'm always on the lookout for a good mattifying primer! I snagged a sample of this from Sephora recently, but have not yet given it a go. Read a couple reviews that said this triggered some breakouts, which has made me a bit wary. Will definitely try it out eventually, though. Will keep you posted!

Dr. Brandt Dark Spots No More Serum Concentrate
Yet another pigmentation-lightening serum! I've had issues with post-acne marks for years now, so the bevy of brightening products currently on the market are actually right up my alley! Haven't tried this out yet, as I'm waiting to finish my Origins Mega Bright first. Excited to give this a spin afterwards, though, as I've read some promising reviews!

Fresh Rose Face Mask Hydrating Mask with Rose Petals
Even though my skin is oily and acne-prone, it can still suffer from dryness, redness, and irritation, especially during the harsh winter months. I grabbed a sample of this at Sephora recently because it promised to soothe, tone, and moisturize skin. The texture also looked incredibly unique and luxurious (a lightweight jelly chalk-full of rose petals), so I was dying to test it out. I've used this one one occasion and it was definitely a nice treat, though it didn't leave any lasting results that would warrant the high price tag. Will gladly use up the rest of the sample, but won't likely purchase the full size.

Boscia Bright White Face Mask
I'm testing out so many brightening serums, why not a luminizing mask as well?! Boscia promises that this mask dramatically brightens the complexion while moisturizing and correcting hyperpigmentation. The texture is incredibly thick (as you can see from the photo above!), which was intruiging since this is a peel-off mask! I tested it once so far- while it was a bit tricky (and painful, ouch!) to remove, it did leave my skin looking bright and luminous afterwards. I woke with a couple of breakouts the next morning, however, so I'm a bit hesitant to try this out again!

Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup SPF15 (Shade#3)
Perhaps the most unique foundation I've ever tried. This oil-based, but lightweight foundation promises uber natural-looking coverage, a luminous finish, and long-wear. I've worn this on a couple occasions and am definitely in the midst of a love-hate relationship with it. I find the application to be quite tricky and time-consuming, but when I stick with it the results can be utterly flawless. Have a full review of this one in the works already!

Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Founation (Shade 1.2)
This is definitely one of the most promising foundations I've tried in a while! I asked the sales associate at Sephora to recommend a long-wearing, oily skin-friendly foundation with light to moderate coverage and a semi-matte finish. She quickly rushed to this and I'm glad she did. The formula fits the above specifications quite perfectly- flawless, but not cakey coverage that is long-wearing and doesn't leave my skin looking flat. This definitely challenges my long-beloved Revlon ColourStay!

Phew! That was a ton of products! It's been fun testing them out and treating myself to some new and interesting beauty goodies. It's always great to try before I buy! Hope I featured something that might be up your alley as well!

And as I mentioned above, if you'd like to see a full review of any of these productss- let me know!

Thanks for reading, and don't forget to check out my 100 Follower Giveawayhere!


  1. Wow, your Sephora gives generous samples! Usually when I ask for samples, they put a little bit in. =( Can't wait to hear about the lightening creams for post-acne marks! I have the same problem and want to get rid of them.

    1. Yeah, I'm pretty lucky that my Sephora is so generous! Will definitely be doing some reviews about my brightening products, as it's an issue I think many of us deal with! Thanks for commenting :)

  2. wow, you have so many samples you are trying out, sephora give you generous samples! :)

    1. I know! I'm on a budget at the moment, so sampling has been a nice way to indulge and try out new things without dropping lots of cash. I'm certainly lucky that my Sephora is so generous!

  3. Looking forward to posts on these products! x

    1. Thanks, Hannah! I have a few in the works :)

  4. Yeah I agree with Simple Charm, Sephora here in Portugal are always so greedy giving samples, and they often refuse to give them with the excuses 'oh we don't have sample pots' and stuff like that.. so sad!
    But this is a great idea, reviewing samples, if you don't mind maybe I'll do something similar someday! :D


    1. That's too bad that your Sephoras are so stingy! I guess I'm pretty lucky that my Sephora SAs are quite nice and generous. It would be great if you did a similar post in the future- I'm always curious to see what others are testing out :) xoxo

  5. This has been really helpful! I love your blog, would you like to follow each other on gfc? Let me know! :-)

    Danie B


All of your lovely comments make my day! Thanks for taking the time to share your musings, ideas, and opinions. Feel free to leave a link to your blog- I'd be happy to check it out :)