Sachet city: samples used in January 2017


Welcome to my first sample post of the year! I'd forgotten just how many samples I'd managed to accrue in the last couple of months so I'm pleased that I've knocked off one round and I'll keep my head down and do more in the coming months.

Samples are a great way to satisfy the urge to try new products without actually buying anything, and more often than not they also make me happy to return to the products I'm using with fresh eyes because they've reminded me that what I've got works better for me than lots of other stuff.

Anyhoo. Let's have a look.

FemFresh Daily Intimate Wash

These turned up in our hospital 'showbag' when I had my son, and I thought I may as well try them out as a standard body wash - because who can be bothered with a separate cleanser for your intimates ; ) - and I'm sure they're nice and gentle but I didn't think much of them because they didn't lather well and didn't feel like they cleaned well.

I did also try them for washing my makeup brushes because gentle cleansers work best for that (anything too astringent can make your brushes feel dry and scratchy) but they didn't clean the gunk off properly, so that just goes to show.

Swisse Manuka Honey Detoxifying Facial Mask

This is described as a naturally absorbent facial mask, formulated to purify and detoxify the skin while leaving it feeling smooth and hydrated. It should apparently suit congested and blemish-prone skin so I was hoping to get some benefit from it because I've been getting hormonal breakouts lately and need something to target them.

I haven't had much luck with Swisse and it's a brand I've learned to avoid (at least as far as its skincare is concerned) and while I don't think this was awful, I didn't love it either. It's a standard clay mask that dries down as you wait, and it made my skin tighter and more uncomfortable during the drying process than other clay masks I've tried so I didn't enjoy it. Plus it did nothing for me, and I got three uses from this sachet so I'd hoped to see at least some effect. Perhaps it's just not for dry skin.

Nars Laguna Bronzer

I've had this bronzer applied to my face a few times so I have tried it before, but I've never applied it to myself so I was interested to see whether I'd understand all the fuss about it.

While it did apply and blend well, it was quite dry to the touch (many Nars powders are) and I didn't love the colour on me. I can understand why many people love it because it's not too warm, but I need something a hair warmer because otherwise bronzers can look flat on me, as this one did. Plus I only got one use from this sachet and I'd hoped for at least two so I don't think the sample is big enough.

Hourglass Hyaluronic Skin Tint SPF 15 in Nude

This is a reformulated version of the old classic and in the past I remember feeling that the product had too much coverage for my personal tastes so I didn't love it. While I still feel that's true of this reformulated version, I found that this one sheered out with less effort so I could get a light coverage very easily but build up to a medium if I wanted to.

I still wouldn't call this a tint (it's more of a foundation) and it has a mousse-like texture that isn't my favourite, but the result on the skin is very natural. 'Nude' isn't my shade so I needed to darken it with Becca Topaz, but I did like that the product didn't sit in pores around my hairline and it looked dewy on the skin without being too shiny. I got three to four uses from one 1ml sachet so the full size would last for ages (much longer than my tinted moisturisers), so I'll keep this in mind and see if I can't find a shade match. If I can, I may well buy it.

Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil and 100% Pure Argan Oil Light

I've used both of these before but this is the first opportunity I've had to test them alongside each other, so it was interesting to apply each one to one half of my face and compare them. 

The light one definitely isn't hydrating enough for my dry skin and this was extra apparent when comparing it to the original version, which is much better suited for my skin. The light one might be great for oily skin, but it doesn't do nearly enough for me and I needed to go back in with another product after use because I'd just used the Swisse mask (above) and my skin was feeling pretty parched after that.

As for the original version, it's not the best oil I've tried - not by a long shot - and I've used cheaper oils from the chemist that feel more hydrating than this does, so it's not one I would buy and I don't think it has enough punch for my dry skin.

Tocca Emelia EDP

This came in a Mecca Beauty Loop box and I was pleased to see it because I've been spraying myself with the fragrance when I go into Mecca ever since it came out. It's one of those scents that I wouldn't normally buy but something about it just works and it lasts well so it's one I've considered purchasing - although in small size because I'd never get through a large one.

It's a fig fragrance but it's not as full-on as other fig scents I've tried and it also contains geranium, magnolia and amaryllis. What I'd hoped to learn from this sample is whether or not I want to buy myself a travel-size, and I've decided that I don't. While I do like the fragrance, it's not love for me and I'm pickier with scents than I am with most things so I'd rather wait and see if I can find something that really grabs me.

Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser

This came from Adore Beauty and while I like the look of Aesop products, I'm yet to find one that I really like and this one wasn't it. It's meant to offer a thorough yet gentle cleanse and contains lactic acid for a mild exfoliation to boot. If you read the instructions, it tells you to apply the product and then leave it for 'several minutes' to allow the lactic acid to work. Who can be bothered with that? I'll do it for a mask but not a cleanser - ain't got no time for all that!

As for the product itself, it cleans ok but not brilliantly and I didn't notice any exfoliation on the few occasions I used it, plus it stung my eyes so this is a no-go for me.

In sum

This wasn't the best bunch of sachets unfortunately but I'm pleased to have knocked off a few more items and it's inspired me to finish another lot in February because I do have quite a few sitting around. 

The best item in here was probably the Hourglass tint, although I'm not completely sold on that and I'd need to test it in the right colour for me before putting it on the list of potentials.

Do let me know if you've sampled anything amazing this month - I'm always up for ideas!

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