Sachet city: samples used in August 2014


This month I took around 10 days off my usual skincare routine so I could use up the bundle of samples I'd acquired over the last six weeks since my first samples post. Geez there's a few!

I know you're meant to stick with a skincare routine to get the best from it, but I don't mind taking a break from the range I'm using every couple of months - just to trial other things and see how they fare. I also like going back to my usual routine after finishing the samples and confirming to myself that, yes, the full-size products I've purchased are doing wonders for my skin and were totally worth the money ; )

There's a mixed bag this month - makeup, face and body care, haircare too. Let's have a look!

Wotnot Facial Wipes for oily/sensitive skin (RRP $1.95 for 5 wipes, travel size)

I'd be rather surprised if you haven't used these before, or at least heard of them - they've turned up in that many subscription boxes!

I like Wotnot wipes but prefer the original pink ones - these don't seem to do the job as well. They're not quite moist enough either.

While I like Wotnot, my favourite wipes are the Swisspers ones. I'll do a review on those soon : )

Karpati Bio-cellulose Eye Essence Mask (RRP $22 per mask)

I received this in my Winter 2014 Lust Have It Eco Box. My golly that's a lot to pay for a single eye mask! It's enriched with peptides to 'significantly improve' the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Apparently this is unlike any other eye mask on the market due to its diameter, and resembles human skin.

After using it I can say that, for me, it's no different from any other mask of this nature I've tried. I noticed no real effect after use, other than that my skin looked a bit nicer. There was no lasting impact and, if anything, this is one of the poorer eye masks I've used. I'd give it a miss.

Sukin Skin Purifying Facial Mask (RRP $15 for 100ml)

This one showed up in my July 2014 Violet Box. Sukin seems to have been doing the subscription box rounds lately and I've noticed their range growing in Priceline etc. I was glad to give this a go. It's formulated with a clay base and infused with aloe vera and other goodies. It's meant to draw out dirt and grime while nourishing the skin.

Verdict? I really liked this. It went on smoothly and felt lovely on my skin. It also smelled really good. As with most masks, I'm not seeing a massive after-effect other than my skin feeling a bit nicer - but perhaps I'll notice some difference over time. I do prefer this to many masks I've tried, and since it's not hugely expensive, I may well buy it in future.

Weleda Oat Replenishing Shampoo (RRP $19.95 for 190ml) and Oat Replenishing Conditioner (RRP $19.95 for 200ml) 

I've been on the lookout for decent hair products recently, so I was glad to have received another set of samples to try in my Winter 2014 Lust Have It Eco box. I haven't had much luck with the ones we've received in subscription boxes lately (they haven't been heavy enough for my dry-ish hair), so hoped these would fare better.

Both sachets contain oat extracts and jojoba oil (among other things) and are meant to hydrate and restore the hair. After using them, I really wish I'd received more product. For my long, dry hair, the conditioner was only enough for one use and the remaining shampoo was therefore used as a shaving gel (I prefer using matching shampoos and conditioners - they tend to work better in concert). But I really loved how my hair felt after using this and would likely have gone out to purchase these products if I'd had enough for two washes, just to confirm their effect on my hair. Boo! Hoh well. Maybe I'll receive more samples of these in future. Note that aside from the effect, I really loved the smell.

Yu-Be Moisturising Skin Cream (RRP $34.95 for 70g)

This one arrived in my July 2014 Bellabox. This cream has apparently held a top sales spot for over 50 years in Japan, and aims to heal dry skin anywhere on your body. I was looking forward to giving it a go - I'd heard a lot about it. But after use... 

Oh gross, beware of the smell. It's like antiseptic menthol, makes me think of cough lollies. That in itself is a turn off. I don't care how good the product is (it didn't wow me, anyway) - I don't want to cover myself in something that smells like this. Strange consistency, too. At least I can say that I've tried it!

Lavender Sandalwood Calming Body Wash (RRP $6 for 10ml)

Another inclusion in July's Violet Box. I've used Dr Hauschka products before and have liked them (particularly the Melissa Day Cream). I was also thoroughly bored of my jumbo size body wash and had been waiting to receive a sample of something else to try, so I was happy with this inclusion.

The smell is strong and true to name (absolutely lavender and sandlewood hehe). In using it I experienced the usual Dr Hauschka metal tube issue - when you use the cap to pierce open the foil top, product spews out. So make sure you open it for the first time in the shower: you'll be able to catch the spew and use it, rather than ending up with it all over the table ; ). I didn't love this and was surprised - normally I love Dr H products. It didn't seem to foam well and this made me feel that it didn't clean well either. But I'm glad I've tried this now because I've been considering buying Dr H body washes in the past, and now I know not to.

Eslor Brightening Activator, Chlorophyll Lifting Mask, Replenishing Scrub and Herbal Soothing Gel 

I've done comprehensive reviews of Eslor's products here and here.

In brief:

Brightening Activator: AMAZING. It contains a blend of antioxidants and aims to help the skin preserve its youthfulness and minimise the appearance of fine lines etc. This one, I think, is (wait for it)...BETTER than Clarins' Beauty Flash Balm. Impossible? No! After just one application I looked like a new woman and my skin felt amazing. I have a 15ml travel size of this product and am waiting for a rainy day to open it.

Replenishing Scrub: I like this one so much that I've already bought a full-size and a back up. It smells toasty and wonderful and leaves your skin looking fresh and feeling clean. It contains almond-honey, apricot kernel powder and peach kernel powder. Seriously wonderful.

Chlorophyll Lifting Mask: This one is unlike anything I've used before. It's green in colour and goes on like a cooling gel, then hardens so it kind of feels like you have super-glue on your face, which sounds horrible but it's not - just a little tight. In any event, the pay off is worth it. Your skin feels tighter and cleaner afterwards, and it has a temporary impact on fine lines. The ingredients include milk proteins, plant and seaweed extracts and minerals, which aim to strengthen skin and enhance blood circulation.

Herbal Soothing Gel: This one isn't my favourite, purely because it's not moisturising enough and I need to apply another moisturiser after it because it makes my skin feel quite dry. This may be because it's winter and my skin is drier than usual and needs extra care. Lightweight and oil free, the gel contains botanical extracts to refresh, hydrate and calm any inflammation caused by exposure to sun or other environmental factors. It definitely does have a calming effect when you put it on; it's only later that I need to apply more moisturiser.

I've done full reviews of the St Tropez and ASAP products here and here.

In brief:

St Tropez Gradual Tan Plus Anti-aging for Face: I really loved this and am now on the lookout to buy a full-size of the item on special. It does the whole tanning thing and so much more - smells great, super-moisturising and plumping, attacks my fine lines wonderfully well (at least for the next few hours after use ; ) ). I urge you to trial it.

ASAP Sheer Tint Moisturiser SPF 15: I didn't love this and was surprised - so many women swear by it. For me, it was too pale and made me look ashy, didn't have enough coverage (and I usually like tints) and was way too greasy. Skip!

L'Oreal Nude Magique Blur Cream (RRP $26.95 for 25ml)

I didnt' like this at all unfortunately, which surprised me because I LOVE the Anti-fatigue CC cream in this range. Using 'micro-blur technology', it's meant to instantly blur imperfections and leave your skin looking perfectly flawless. For me, it was just gluggy, provided basically no coverage and really didn't do the job it claims it can do. I've seen online that people generally use this as a primer and I suppose that would be your better option; but in that sense, I think L'Oreal's standard Base Magique does a much better job. This one felt too slippery on me and I didn't like the consistency. I'd be interested to hear what others who've tried it think.

EmerginC Earth Hydrating Phytelene Cream (RRP $99 for 50ml)

I received this sample as part of a Bellabox order (thanks Bellabox!) and was super excited to try it because I've seen the brand around and the products look sensational. This cream includes plant-based minerals that apparently resemble the molecular structure of bio-minerals that are naturally found in your skin. These natural ingredients are 'proven' to aid in the building of collagen and elastin, which are 'integral' to maintaining a healthy, vibrant visage.

Just words really. For me, this cream didn't do anything. Avoid!

Nanoblur (RRP $29.99 for 30ml)

I seriously hated this - to the point that I had to wash it off my face straight away because it felt so horrendous. Drying, tightening, unnatural. It's a colourless gel liquid that claims to refract light to make skin look flawless, minimise pores, tauten sagging skin, smooth out wrinkles and lighten sun spots for a perfect airbrushed complexion.

Ouch. Steer clear. I do know of people who love this though - I'd be interested in hearing others' thoughts. Maybe it's just not right for my skin.

Aveda Botanical Kinetics Gel Cleanser (RRP $54.95 for 150ml)

I received this one in my July Lust Have It women's box. After using the whole thing, I still wasn't impressed. It's a cleanser. I'm not sure how well it cleans and it doesn't feel special or smell good. There's no stand-out feature (eg a lovely consistency). In my experience, Aveda makes better hair products than they do skin ones. Plus I think we're all a bit sick of seeing them in LHI boxes. 

This got used as a body wash.

Milk Ultra Light Moisturiser (RRP $19.95 for 150ml)

Thanks to Bellabox for including this sample with an order of mine - I've been wanting to try more Milk products but haven't. This is Lindy Klim's range. I own the body scrub and it's actually pretty shite (too gentle for me and not scrubby enough - I'll review it in due course), but have been open to trying other products because they're well-priced and I've heard others rave about them.

It's meant to be moisture-rich but not heavy (hence the name ; ) ). It's formulated with aloe vera extract for a soothing, anti-inflammatory effect and aims to keep you hydrated and protected from external radicals.

My thoughts? I liked this a lot more than I thought I would. Having skin that tends towards dryness (especially in winter), I didn't think it would be moisturising enough for me - but it totally is. I like the smell too. While I wouldn't rush out and buy it, I've been loving having the sample to carry around in my handbag and keep my skin moisturised throughout the day.

Tiaki Day Cream (RRP $40 for 60g)

Another sample from Bellabox (thanks!). I've trialled a Tiaki eye cream before and ended up turfing it because it just didn't absorb into my skin. I've never had that happen before - except maybe with heavy duty sunscreen (you know, when you're left with white streaks that just don't seem to want to melt in). This cream was exactly the same - didn't absorb well and therefore didn't do the job.

Has anyone else experienced this with Tiaki products? Weird. Anyhoo. If Tiaki's been on your list of things to trial, the products are currently on sale here in the Bellabox shop.

Again, maybe these just don't work for my skin.

Skin & Co Truffle Therapy Serum (RRP $75 for 30ml)

Another product from the July 2014 Violet Box. It's meant to plump the skin with hydration and fight off free radicals, and it goes on under your moisturiser. I hadn't heard of this brand until Violet Box posted about it on Facebook, and I'm always excited to try new things.

I had high hopes for this one, since it looks like a high-end product (and costs like one ; ) ), but I wasn't wowed. I've hit the end of the tube now and it's just not moisturising enough for me - it tends to leave my skin super-dry and I have to apply double amounts of moisturiser afterwards. Boo foo boo. Hoh well, glad to have tried it.

In sum

Some great and not so great samples there. My favourites (aside from the Eslor items, which you may already know I'm in love with ; )) are the Milk moisturiser, the Weleda hair products, and the Sukin and St Tropez items.

I'd love to hear if anyone else has used any of the stuff above and, if so, what they thought.

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