Sachet city: samples used in July 2017


I love doing these posts because they encourage me to use samples that would likely otherwise sit around gathering dust, and they've also led to great discoveries in the past.

Mind you, they never photograph well (probably something to do with my camera trying to focus on tiny scrawls of writing on multiple subjects) and they're not the most popular posts I write, but hopefully they're helpful to someone.

Anyhoo. I'm pleased to say that I've found a potential purchase in this lot, which doesn't happen often so I'm calling that a win. Let's have a look.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

I understand this is one of Dermalogica's top-sellers and I'm surprised I haven't used it before because I suspect the brand often sends out samples for online retailers to distribute, given it's so popular (mine came from Adore Beauty). Luck of the draw I guess.

Anyway, it's one of those powder exfoliants that you mix with water to form a paste, then massage over your skin. It's meant to leave the skin noticeably smoother and brighter while removing dulling debris.

Look, I suppose it does those things but I much prefer my Alpha-H Gentle Daily Exfoliant (reviewed here). Not only does it cost less (although the full size is admittedly a bit smaller than this one), but it just does a better job - at least for me. Also, this one has a few grains in it but the Alpha-H one doesn't, but it still does the same thing this one does - it's just that Alpha-H's version is better.

Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser

I loved this. I'm going to buy it, so watch this space. While it's cheaper to buy at eg Adore Beauty, Mecca sells a small one so I might just buy that and see if I like it enough to go back and buy the full size.

It's recommended for sensitive skin and it's called a pH-balanced gel/cream, although it's so rich that I'd almost call it a balm. It felt so lovely and soothing on the skin and my dry skin loved it, plus the full size contains a whopping 250ml (you can find it for less than $50) so it's not an unreasonable buy. Love. Even after using it only three times.

Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Firm

This is an eye cream and I had high hopes for it because I'm in the market for a decent eye cream since I'm yet to find my HG, but I didn't like this product at all.

It's quite thick and powdery to the touch and it feels that way when applied. It doesn't hydrate my dry skin well because it doesn't seem to absorb, but instead sits on top of the skin - plus it's a mattifying product that feels and looks drying. It might be good for oily skin but it's not right for me.

Dermalogica Ultrarich Body Cream

I've used this before and I'm just as annoyed this time around that the sample only contains a measly 2ml of product. That's a ridiculously small amount for a body cream and I could only apply it to my arms - not enough for a proper trial - so the small sachet size doesn't make sense to me.

What I can say, however, is that this wasn't very rich so the name doesn't feel 'right' to me, and although it was ok for my dry skin, I've seen that the full size costs a whopping $70 AUD so I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole - far too expensive for a body cream, in my opinion! And one that's ho-hum to boot.

Alpha-H Liquid Gold Pads

These are Alpha-H's well-loved Liquid Gold formula in pad form. The product does exactly what the traditional formula does (so chemically exfoliate, resurface and brighten), it's just that it comes as a pre-soaked pad.

I'm not usually one for these pad arrangements because I think you're paying more than you need to and getting less product overall, and while that's true of this, the pad itself was the nicest one I've come across: it feels so plush and luxe and fancy. It's quite thick and almost has a rubbery element to it, and one side is textured while the other is smooth so you can get a bit of extra exfoliation from the textured side if you want. I wouldn't buy these because I prefer my standard liquid product (sans pads), but if you're into this delivery system, then these are unusually nice.

Darphin Lumiere Essentielle Illuminating Oil Gel-Cream

This should strengthen the skin and replenish moisture levels. It's a gel-cream hybrid that claims to illuminate and revitalise.

As you may know I went on a bit of a Darphin kick last year and acquired a few of the brand's products, which I've been opening one-by-one. Almost all of them I really like or even love, but this one didn't float my boat. I thought it was ok on the first application but after that I realised that it seemed to sit on the skin with a bit of a powdery feel, so it's not for me.

Clinique Even Better Makeup SPF 15

This should brighten and even out skintone with naturally luminous minerals. I've got this on for the second time today and I don't mind it but it's not one I would buy. It's a bit thicker than I would like and it takes a bit of work to spread and blend, but it does look reasonably natural so that's a plus. 

It's meant to be good for dry skin and I agree with that because it does have a glowy finish (and it doesn't set so that's something to be aware of), but it's not the most natural formula I've found and the fact that it's too pale and neutral for me means that it looks a bit like a mask (that could just be a colour issue). I'm pleased to report however that it doesn't pool in pores, so that's a huge plus. I'll do a swatch and first impressions post on this one so stay tuned for that if you're interested.

Superbalanced Silk Makeup SPF 15

This is described as a silky smooth and ultra-fluid foundation that's silk-enriched and should naturally perfect the complexion with an undetectable, 'no-makeup-makeup' finish.

This has had great reviews (see eg Mecca's website) but I absolutely hated it. It went on like paint and was so thick and drying on me that it was a nightmare to blend. A drop of oil helped things on the second application but I still didn't like it. The finish was powdery on me and it looked like a mask, plus the coverage was too much for me (this is without the oil to help sheer it out). The good news was that it didn't sit in pores and it looked reasonably natural once it was on, but it's not the right formula for me. A swatch/first impressions post to come on this one, too.

In sum

This wasn't a great bunch of samples but I did love that Dermalogica cleanser and the Alpha-H pad impressed me because it felt so luxe (even though I wouldn't buy it). I will buy the cleanser though so I'm looking forward to that!

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

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