The big declutter 2017: sample clear-out with mini reviews #3


Hello and welcome to another sample clear-out for 2017.

I'm super glad I decided to get through these recently, I must say. Reason being, I've been a bit naughty and made the most of a promotion that Adore Beauty was running, meaning I now have another chunk of minis and deluxe samples in store. Ooops! Later in the year, perhaps.

Let's get straight into it.

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment

Full review here. This is a really fantastic product and I've been through countless sachets and a travel-sized tube already, so it's almost not worth including it because you've probably heard me rave about it before. But if I didn't include it, I'd forget to use it!

This is one of those exfoliants that's not for the fainthearted or sensitive skin, although my skin can be sensitive and I haven't had any issues with it so it's worth trying at least - even if you're prone to sensitivity (and there's also a gentle version if this one's too much). It's one of my favourite exfoliants and it leaves my skin beautifully polished and renewed, and I always look forward to using it because I know my skin will feel smoother for days afterwards. I can only use it once a week max, however: otherwise it's too much for me.

The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Mask

This is meant to leave the skin deeply cleansed, purified and detoxified, while making your pores appear unclogged and refined. I must say, I think it does those things and I really liked it.

Also, I reckon this is an excellent dupe for GlamGlow's YouthMud - plus at $39.95 it costs much less and I think this is the better product. You leave it on for five or ten minutes and then massage the scrubby matter over your face, and it does a great job of refining the skin so it looks healthier and feels smoother after use. This is on the list of potential purchases for me because it's been a while since I tried a mask that I like this much.

ASAP Daily Exfoliating Facial Scrub

This was ok. I didn't love it but didn't hate it either. It contains little grains that don't feel too harsh on the skin so I do think it would be ok for daily use, and it wasn't too much for my dry, sensitive skin.

Mind you, it was one of those 'meh' products that didn't strike me as very good or very bad, and while I do have another couple of 5ml samples of the product, I might end up sending them to a better home because I just don't need them. 

La Roche-Posay Redermic C10 Anti-ageing Serum

This came from the Parcel and I'm bummed that it was only 5ml in size because I liked it enough to put it on the 'maybes' list - but the sample wasn't large enough to put the product on the 'definitely maybes' list ; )

What I liked about it was that it absorbed beautifully and felt super rich and nourishing, and I think it also had an effect on brightening/radiance too - which isn't surprising because it does contain vitamin c. Next time Priceline has a sale I might consider buying this, but I wouldn't pay full price ($69.95): you don't need to when pharmacies have frequent sales.

Marc Jacobs Re(marc)able Full Cover Foundation Concentrate

Swatches and first impressions post here. In short, I really didn't like this product because it looked and felt like paint on me - plus it smelled like paint - so it wasn't something I enjoyed putting on my face.

While a lot of people seem to love this foundation, on me it clung to dry patches and gave me additional dry patches that I didn't know I had. Plus it sat in pores and fine lines so I couldn't get it to look good. On top of that, it wasn't easy to spread out and blend - perhaps in part because it's not a good pick for dry skin (dry skin clings to everything). It looked like a mask on me, too.

Ouai Repair Shampoo & Conditioner

I really liked these. Annoying that there was only enough for one use, but they worked a lot better for my dry, long, frizzy and wavy hair than anything else I've used recently.

These should help tame frizz, replenish moisture, leave hair smooth and hydrate without weighing the hair down, and I do think they did those things. After just one wash my hair was smooth, shiny, bouncy and healthy-looking, plus it was a lot easier to brush than usual too. 

Mind you, the shampoo retails for $43 AUD (300ml) and the conditioner retails for $40 AUD (250ml), and I wouldn't normally spend that much on haircare so I won't be buying them. I also can't stand it when a shampoo is larger than its matching conditioner because I need the reverse - so I automatically don't bother with anything that tries to tell me otherwise ; )

Still, lovely products.

Sephora Avocado Mask

Believe it or not, I didn't hate this - and considering that I don't like sheet masks and can't see any point in using them, that's saying something.

It was a fairly standard sheet mask in that it contained far too much 'essence', which as always I ended up using on my body to save an application of body cream, but what was different about this one as compared to most that I've tried, was that I felt that it did a little more than throwing a wet towel on my face for 10 mins would. It plumped up my skin temporarily and left it feeling nicely hydrated, which of course surprised me because I'm so used to feeling that sheet masks do nothing more than waste my time. I wouldn't buy it but I wouldn't knock another one back.

Institut Karite Paris Macaron Hand Soap

These are petite hand soaps shaped in the style of a macaron. They're apparently rich in vitamins a, e and f, and contain shea butter to help nourish and regenerate skin. They're designed to add moisture and nutrients back into skin where other soaps normally strip them away, and they should target dry, chapped and ageing hands.

This green one I received (these came from Maslow & Co) smells citrus-y and lovely, and since it's meant to be a non-drying soap, I opted to take it away with us when we went to my parents' holiday house down the coast, just so I wouldn't have to lug around a huge bottle of body wash. Unfortunately, though, this is really drying on my skin (and also my hands) so I didn't like the way it made my skin feel. I do like the idea of it but not the effect.

Nivea Cellular Anti-age Volume Filling Pearls

Apparently these contain hyaluronic acid and collagen booster pearls, and they should reduce wrinkles and fine lines for a fuller, firmer and younger-looking complexion. They're suitable for sensitive skin.

This sample came from our last edit of the Parcel, and I absolutely hated it. It had a weird, thick, silicone-y texture and it just didn't want to absorb. All it did was coat my face and leave it feeling dry, plus nothing I put over it to help with hydration could penetrate through it, so it didn't play well with my other products. In the end I used it up on my chest.

Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Perfecting Moisturiser

This is described as an oil-free moisturiser, rich in antioxidants, to weightlessly hydrate, even tone and smooth skin texture for a healthy-looking complexion.

I was expecting to enjoy this because I've heard good things about this brand and the product description makes it sound pretty amazing (see here), but unfortunately it did nothing for me. Sure it was oil-free and weightless, but it didn't have enough punch to do anything for my dry skin so I needed to put something more nourishing over the top, just to target any winter dryness I've been getting. 

Perhaps this would be better for normal to oily skin, but it didn't work for me and the sample did contain a decent 7ml of product so I was able to give it a good test run. 

In sum

I hope you enjoyed this little post! It always feels good to get through some of the backlog of samples and minis in my collection, and I'll definitely need to do at least one more of these posts before year's end - I'm starting to feel overwhelmed. Mental note to avoid GWPs for a while ; )

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

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