Monday, October 2, 2017

#365 Days of Samples: Week 20

I'm a bit behind in posting the samples I've used up in my #365 Days of Samples series (a concept I discovered from Elle S on YouTube), but hey, better late than never! There were some highs and lows in this batch of samples, so let's take a closer look.
Let's start with the low: the Oribe Restorative Body Cream. I don't like how it smells. I imagine I'm in the minority on that, but I've always found Oribe products to be overly fragranced and I'm not a fan of their signature Cote d'Azur scent, plus I think they are over priced. If you are not familiar with the notes for Cote d'Azur, here is what is listed on the Oribe web site:
"Developed in collaboration with one of the oldest French fragrance houses, tracing its roots back to the 1800s, Cote d’Azur was conceived to be beautiful and bright yet calming and composed—the perfect morning wake-up call, afternoon pick-me-up and evening mood-setter. The signature scent awakens with hints of citrus-soaked Italian bergamot, pink lemons, white peach, cassis and muguet, balanced with Aomori apples and leafy greens. Cedarwood, white amber and musk lend their soft woody notes, while Cuba’s national flower, la mariposa blanca, creates a sensual and invigorating experience throughout the day."
On the plus side, the cream felt nice on the skin and has some interesting ingredients, but this is just not for me, especially at $65 a jar.
I do like the scent and feel of the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse dry oil, but the brand has pulled out of the US market, so oh well. I almost bought a bottle before they closed up shop (online), but did not pull the trigger for some reason.
I've got to admit that while I love the concept/story of the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, I can't really tell that it does anything for my skin. Plus, I'm shocked at how much it costs: 2.5 oz. will set you back $99, or you can invest in the value size and get 7.8 oz. for $229. So what makes this facial essence so special?  Well, it's composed of 90% Pitera (Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate), which is rich in vitamins, organic acids, minerals, and amino acids that are supposed to work together to support natural skin cell renewal. There are less expensive products out there that feature Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, and I'm about halfway through a full size bottle of CosRX's Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence, but I can't really tell that it does much for my skin either. Maybe the results are just too subtle for me to tell, I dunno. But, if you want to read more about possible dupes for this famous K-beauty facial essence, here is a great post that dives deeper into the options available.  
Another K-beauty product finished up was the Innisfree Green Tea Balancing Cream. There is nothing wrong with this moisturizer, but I didn't find myself drawn to it and actually kept forgetting to use it. That can't be a good sign, can it? On the plus side, it's reasonably priced at $19 for a 1.7 oz. jar, and there are some hydrating ingredients in the mix such as glycerin, shea and cocoa butters, plus a variety of extracts such as green tea, bergamot, orchid, citrus unshiu peel, orange, grapefruit, and tangerine. I'd use another sample but do not feel compelled to purchase.   
I've gone through at least one full size bottle of Julep's Love Your Bare Face Hydrating Cleansing Oil ($28) and I like it. It's not my holy grail cleansing oil (DHC's Deep Cleansing Oil holds that spot), but Julep's is in my top three. I think I've got a bottle stashed somewhere, and I'd purchase again.
The Cane Austin Miracle Pad is a potent little thing, in that I could definitely feel it tingling/stinging once I applied it to my skin.  I've used samples of this before and was intrigued, but find the price ($88) is keeping me from investing in a jar, although you do get 60 pads. I'm currently testing out a Retin-A product so I probably should not also use a heavy duty peel like this right now anyhow.
Vitamin C is an ingredient that I can tell makes a difference on my skin, and this peel pad made an impression. It definitely felt "active", in that there was a strong tingle/stinging when I applied it. Considering there are 7 different AHA/BHA ingredients in the formula, the tingling makes sense and may actually be too strong for daily use, IMO.  At $78 for 30 pads this is pricey and more than I want to invest.
Last up from this batch of samples is the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani lipstick blister pack.  I did not finish these, but did sample each and overall enjoyed the formulas. Firebird is not a color I would wear, but the others worked pretty well for me.


Firebird (sheered out)

Rock Steady
Now, time for the new samples I randomly selected for week 20 of the #365 Days of Samples:
I'll list the newest samples first, followed by those that are still in the mix from previous weeks:

  1. Unwash Bio-Cleansing Conditioner (deluxe sample)
  2. Spackle Tinted Under Makeup Primer in Champagne by Laura Geller (foil)
  3. Double Take Baked Powder Foundation by Laura Geller (deluxe sample)
  4. Amika Nourishing Hair Mask (deluxe sample)
  5. Nuface by Carole Cole Prep-N-Glow  (1 dual sided cloth)
  6. bareMinerals Skinlongevity Vital Power Infusion Serum (deluxe sample)
  7. Frownies Eye Gels (1 pair)
  8. Japonesque Pro Performance Makeup Wipes (foil, 1 wipe)
  9. Sonoma Scent Studio's Fig Tree (vial sample)
  10. DHC Dry Skin Care Cream (foil sample)
  11. Miu Miu perfume (vial)
  12. Ulta Beauty Mattifying Balm (deluxe sample)
  13. Estee Edit Pink Peony Overnight Water Pack (deluxe sample, discontinued)

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