The big declutter 2016: sample overload update with mini reviews


I promised myself as part of my 2016 declutter series that I would clear out my sample and travel-sized items before year's end. It's so easy to wind up with troughs of these, and if I didn't keep on top of them, I'd be drowning in them by now.

So last month I wrote an introductory post on these ten items (see that post here), and now I'm back to write mini reviews on each as promised.

Do note that I have written full reviews for some because they contained enough product to warrant separate review posts, and while I may still write more detailed reviews on a couple more, as mentioned in yesterday's post, my brain is exhausted at the moment so I'll save the thorough reviews I haven't yet written for later.

But enough preamble! Let's have a 'mini' look at each:

Goldwell Kerasilk Colour Shampoo & Conditioner

These came from beautyheaven and they contain keratin and tamanu oil, and are designed for colour-treated hair.

My husband and I both used these when we were in hospital after the birth of my son, and I finished off the samples as part of this decluttering post.

In short, while I did like how they made my hair feel - soft, silky and nourished - I wouldn't buy them because they also didn't leave my hair as clean as I would like, so I needed to wash it more often when I used them. Also, I needed three washes with the shampoo to get my hair feeling close to clean. My husband also thought the shampoo was a dud and he needed three washes with it too (and he's half-bald!).

Mecca Cosmetica Sunbrella Invisible Superspray SPF 50+ 

This is Mecca's new sunscreen spray for face and body. It reeks of alcohol and leaves a slick finish.

One important thing to note: you're not to meant to spray this directly on your face. If you do this, like the 99.9% of the population (including myself) who didn't read the product instructions prior to use and assumed this is something you can spritz everywhere throughout the day, it's basically like spraying yourself with capsicum spray. My eyes stung (yes, I did close them ; )), my lips burned and my skin really hated it. With the face, you're meant to apply it with your hands.

I want to play with it some more before giving you my full review, but suffice to say that I don't think Mecca nailed the formula and the product definitely needs a big label on the box telling users not to spray it directly on the face. I mean, it's a spray. So you can spray it where you need it, yeah?! Not with this.

Nars Liquid Laguna Bronzer

This is a liquid version of Nars' fabled bronzer, and I wasn't expecting much because Nars products generally don't work for me but I actually quite liked it!

It has a nice warm tone that doesn't pull too orange on me, plus it blends out beautifully and looks natural on the skin. You can also sheer it out or build it for more punch, and it's a versatile product because you can add it to any base that's too light for your summer skintone.

Would I buy it? No. I prefer powder bronzers (I find those faster and easier to use), and I use Becca Topaz to darken my lighter bases and add a nice glow in the process so a product like this isn't something I need in my collection.

SK-II R.N.A Eye Cream 

This eye cream is apparently a potent, anti-ageing formula that promises to strengthen the delicate eye area, helping with sagging skin and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. I've reviewed it here.

It's a beautifully hydrating eye cream that's great for dry, dehydrated skin like mine and those of us who can't say 'I'm in my twenties' without lying.

While I normally don't feel that super expensive products are worth their chunky price-tags (this is $149 AUD at full size), in this case I feel it's worth it because a little goes a long way (so it lasts longer than most eye creams, making up its value on a price-per-use basis) and my eye area is looking much happier after using it for over a month. Ticks from me.

Kate Somerville Goat Milk Moisturising Cream

Full review here. This has done the rounds in the beauty community lately so I was looking forward to trying it, and I was pleased to discover that it's a beautifully simple, everyday cream that just does what it's designed to do: hydrate and soothe without fuss or fanfare.

Caroline Hirons raves about this one and that's usually enough to make skincare lovers want to try it, and I'll throw my two cents' into the mix and urge you to grab a sample. It's a great product that costs less in practice than other Kate Somerville skincare: the full size is a whopping 120ml so I reckon it's worth the $94 AUD outlay - especially because a little goes a long way.

Josie Mara Argan Enlightenment Illuminiser

This is a concentrated liquid illuminiser that's meant to inject radiance, luminosity and dimension into the complexion. I've reviewed it here.

My mini review is this: I don't like it at all and I've thrown it straight into Project Pan. 'Nuff said. If you'd like a more detailed review, have a look at my post because I complain away about it there ; )

Hourglass Ambient Light Correcting Primer in Mood Light

This is an illuminating primer that should correct and perfect the complexion. I was really excited when these were released, but after having tested a sample in Luminous Light, I decided the product just wasn't for me.

The problem I found was that it sat in pores so it was really visible on the skin, and it also had a weird finish that I found really drying. Plus it streaked like no tomorrow and I had so many issues rubbing the damn stuff in.

This little sample did nothing but confirm my first impressions on Luminous Light (see that post here), and I really should have done a full review of Mood Light because there was enough in the sample for over two weeks' solid use. But I think I've said enough in the Luminous Light first impressions post so do check that out if you want more info on the formula.

The Body Shop Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Sleeping Cream 

This apparently contains a unique blend of precious oils and powerful essential oils that should moisturise and rejuvenate your complexion while you rest. 

I do love me a good overnight cream, but this was one of those products that really did nothing for me. Yes it was a little soothing/cooling when applied and it hydrated my skin temporarily like any stock-standard moisturiser, but that's about it. If you want a good overnight cream that costs less than this does, I recommend Pixi's offering (reviewed here).

Chantecaille Jasmine Lily Healing Mask

This is apparently the ideal skin solution for sunburned, jet-lagged, irritated or wind-chapped skin. It should help cool and calm reddened skin, reduce inflammation, repair damaged tissue and promote cellular turnover. You can use it as a dedicated mask or as an overnight cream.

Spoiler: I love the pants off this product and I'm shortly going to write a glowing review. Honestly, it's one of the most beautifully hydrating masks I've ever put on my face and I'm probably going to have to buy the full size. Yes it's pricey but that's what the Mecca giftcard I've asked for from Santa is for! I feel like it generally meets its claims and I can't wait to rabbit on about how much I love it in my upcoming review : )

In sum

That's all from me! I'm super happy that I've moved some more products out of my collection and found some great items in this lot to boot. While I haven't quite finished every last drop of these ten products, I should have them done and dusted by Christmas. Hooray for decluttering!

Hope all's well with you guys, and speak soon x

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