The big declutter 2017: mini reviews of deluxe samples


I introduced this post at the very beginning of 2017, and it's my first 'declutter' post of the year. Somehow I'd wound up with another bunch of samples that were too big for sachet posts and too small (mostly) to warrant full reviews, so I wanted to encourage myself to get through them and my yearly declutter posts are the best way to do that.

So without further ado, let's see what I thought of these deluxe samples.

La Mer samples

Interestingly - and perhaps happily, given the price-tags - these samples didn't do much for me at all. I'm not sure why La Mer products are so highly priced but there must be a market for them, and I'm pleased to say that I'm not in that market (financial situation aside!) because they just didn't do it for me.

In brief:

  • The Cleansing Gel: This was a nice product that got even better once I started using it in the shower and not just over the bathroom sink. Reason being, the foam went absolutely bananas in the shower (I guess from the extra water involved) but it wasn't quite as impressive when I used it over the vanity. You only need the tiniest bit and the foam is so rich and velvety that it was just a pleasure to use because it felt so nice on the skin. Nevertheless, I've used similar cleansers that cost a fraction of the price so I personally wouldn't bother with this one. 
  • The Regenerative Serum: This was my favourite of the La Mer samples I tried because it was the only one that I felt might be doing something good for my skin each time I used it. It absorbed beautifully and left my face looking plumper and brighter, and a little went a long way so it would be better value on a price-per-use basis than the creams below. Having said that, it's not the best serum I've tried and I really couldn't see anything about it that warrants the hefty price-tag.
  • Crème de la Mer (The Moisturising Cream): I received two of these and I didn't like this at all unfortunately - or perhaps fortunately because the stuff is so damn expensive. It's so thick and white that it feels like you're putting barrier cream on your face (like Sudocrem for nappy rash) and for this reason it didn't feel like it absorbed and it somehow left my skin feeling dry but coated at the same time. It might work as an overnight mask to seal in other products - and indeed that's how I used it - but I personally wouldn't use it as my moisturiser because it doesn't sink into the skin like I need it to. Blurgh.
  • The Moisturising Soft Cream: This was better in texture than the cream above but I still had the same issues: it didn't feel like it absorbed so it left me feeling dry but with a film on my face, and it also performed better as an overnight product for the same reasons. Perhaps these products aren't geared towards dry-skinned lasses who wear makeup (because these creams don't work well under makeup, at least for me) but instead are for those who don't need hydration but want their skin to look a touch more radiant - which happens with these, due to said film.

Zelens Transformer Instant Renewal Mask

This showed up in a Maslow & Co box and I expected to enjoy it because I've used Zelens skincare before and absolutely loved it, it's just that I didn't go out and buy the full-sized products because I couldn't afford them.

Unfortunately, though, this hasn't done anything for me on the three occasions I've used it. Ren's Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask (reviewed here) works light-years better than this and also costs less so I would recommend that over this product any day since they're meant to do the same things: make your skin look better, brighter and plumper. I'll review this eventually because there's enough in the sample to do that, but I don't think it's going to be a very positive review!

Asap Soothing Gel

I wasn't expecting to like this because I'm not big on gels since I have dry skin and usually need something heavier, but this ended up being my favourite product in the whole bunch!

Indeed I liked it so much that it's on my radar now and I'd love to buy a 15 to 30ml tube for occasional use. The product claims were met because it did reduce inflammation and soothe damaged (dry and dehydrated) skin like mine; and it did feel healing and calming on the skin and also reduced the appearance of redness. It's designed for oily skin but it worked for me too.

Alpha-H Instant Facial with Cypress and Barley

I've used this before and it's one of the few Alpha-H products I've tried that I don't like. I've reviewed it here. 

It's described as a fast-acting, oil-free facial that delivers the clarity and radiance of microdermabrasion and salon-inspired peels without the abrasion and stress. It should soothe and repair the skin, even out skintone and resurface the complexion. While it does do all of those things, it doesn't do them well and I much prefer Alpha-H's Liquid Gold, which you use in the same way. This might be a good starter product if you're sensitive to glycolic acid or haven't tried it before, but it doesn't have enough punch for me.

Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads

In short, I didn't think much of these but I'd say that's because, while these are meant to be radiance-boosting pads soaked in exfoliating glycolic acid (2.8%), that's far too small an amount to do much for my skin, which is used to stronger glycolic products.

So for me, these didn't restore texture or resurface the skin and they didn't tone much, but they did feel reasonably moisturising so that's something at least. Again, this may be an ok starter product if you're new to glycolic acid but otherwise I'd steer clear.

Beenigma Face Cream 

I received this in a recent Maslow & Co box and I was super excited to try it because I'd heard Tati (beauty youtuber) rave about it to no end. Unfortunately, the product just didn't grab me but looks like that puts me in the minority because a lot of people seem to like it.

The cream was quite thick and while it did plump up fine lines, it didn't hydrate that well and I just felt that it wasn't nourishing enough so I needed to use an oil underneath it to keep my skin feeling comfortable. I'll be interested to hear what other subscribers thought of this - maybe it just doesn't mesh with my skin.

In sum

Here's to a good start to my decluttering for 2017. For me, the best way to declutter is to use things up - as opposed to passing them on or throwing them out because they're too old - so I'm pleased that I've done that with these and I hope to go through the sachet pile next because those are stacking up again.

Interestingly, I reckon the best thing in this lot was the Asap gel. Surprising, especially considering the La Mer samples!

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

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