Sachet city: samples used in September 2016

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I've been keen to keep moving through my sachet/sample collection this year because otherwise they build up and the pile gets overwhelming pretty fast. 

So while I'm also working on getting through some older skincare products I have on the go, I wanted to knock off another round of samples during September so I don't find myself swimming in them again.

Let's have a look : )



Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint in Alaska

I had no interest in trying this because I'm all about the dew (and this has 'matte' right there in the title), but one of the Mecca staff I trust swears by it so she was kind enough to give me a sample.

Unfortunately I hated it and I only used it once - and washed it off my face straight away! - because I couldn't bear how it looked. It sits in pores so it gave me little white dots all over my face (not a good look) and the scent was so overpowering that I couldn't leave it on my skin. I also found it drying, even though I'd juiced my skin up with heaps of moisture before using it. I can see how the finish would look lovely on some, but it's just not for me.

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream SPF 50+ in Light

I already knew that I loved this product because I received a decent travel-sized sample in one of my sub boxes, but I have the shade medium (my perfect summer colour) and I wanted to see how the light version looked on my skin. I would say that medium is my best year-round match, but this is certainly a product I would be happy to have in more than one shade.

I'll be doing a review of the product soon (and I'll show the different colours in that post), but all I wanted to say here was: believe the hype on this one. It's truly a fantastic base product and it's raved about in the beauty community for good reason because it provides great coverage without looking like heavy makeup. Definitely worth testing.

Ren Bio Retinoid Anti-ageing Concentrate

I absolutely loved the cream version of this product that we received in one of our Mecca Beauty Loop boxes (I've reviewed it here), but I wanted to try this oil version before buying that one because it's had better reviews.

For some reason, this didn't do what the other product did for my skin. The other one made a difference to my age spots/pigmentation almost straight away, and it's the only retinol/retinoid product I've used to date that didn't irritate my skin. This one didn't do anything beneficial but it did leave my skin feeling tight and looking ashy (one of my issues with retinols), so I'd choose the other product over this any day.


Dermadoctor Kakadu C Intensive Vitamin C Peel Pads

These pads came in one of my Maslow & Co boxes, and they're apparently less aggressive than traditional facial peels but still effective - they should remove dead skin cells and promote turnover of new, fresh cells. 

While I did find these had a brightening effect and I do think they help remove dead skin cells, I've used better products that achieve the same thing (eg Alpha-H's Liquid Gold) so I wouldn't buy them. The pads were also huge so you might consider cutting them in half and retaining the second half for another day. Nice but not for me.

Le Labo Santal 33

I received this little perfume sample when I dropped into my local Mecca one day, and I must say that I really like it! It's a unisex scent so it's not floral and sweet: to me it smell like a forest after rain and there's some fig in there too. 

I wouldn't buy it because it's quite expensive for a fragrance, but I've really been enjoying it and the lasting power is good so it's a scent I would recommend sniffing next time you're in Mecca.

Kate Somerville EradiKate-To-Go Pre-dipped Swab

These pre-treated swabs are designed to calm breakouts and redness, and help prevent future acne flare-ups. 

While the whole 'snap and apply' process was pretty fancy, the product didn't do anything for me (hard to tell with one use, in any event) and I didn't love how it felt on the skin. It's a pink clay formula that's visible (so not good for morning) and drying on me, plus it felt like nothing much on the skin (no tingling etc), so I'd be surprised if this could help with my break-outs over time.


(Malin + Goetz) Replenishing Face Serum

This apparently contains complex amino acids and natural plant extracts for hydration, clarity and ageing concerns of all skin types, especially sensitive.

It was nice enough but the sample was absolutely tiny (1.2ml), so I only used it twice and it was impossible to tell from that how good it is. I do prefer my serums to be on the thinner side - as this was - but it wasn't super hydrating and I have other serums I prefer.

Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil

I've tried the light version of this oil and found it too light for my dry skin, so I was more than happy to test the original one.

It's meant to hydrate, nourish and balance the skin, and while I felt it did those things, I've used plenty of oils I prefer and this one didn't strike me. Yes it was just a little sample but I got a good few uses from it and I can usually tell straight away whether an oil is going to work for me or not. This one did ease my dryness/dehydration a little, but I think you can do better - particularly at this price point.

Verso Skincare Super Eye Serum

Now this one I liked. It's apparently a firming and smoothing super eye serum with Retinol 8 complex, and is designed for the sensitive eye area.

I found this to be beautifully rich and hydrating, and I could tell it contains retinol because it did sting a bit (I'm sensitive to retinol) so I could only use it on every second or third day. I did notice some brightening though so I suspect this is a product that meets its claims in terms of having a visible impact on the eye area - might be worth grabbing a sample pot and seeing if you like it because it's had some good reviews.

In sum

Hooray to finishing more samples! My favourites in this lot are the perfume, the eye serum and the IT Cosmetics CC Cream.

Let me know if you've tested anything amazing this month : )



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