Origins Superstar Minis Holiday Gift Set - round-up with mini reviews


As you may know, I've been working my way through this Origins gift set over the last three months, and while this particular set isn't available at the moment (it's from Christmas 2017), Origins often releases various sets throughout the year and especially in the festive season, so there may well be a similar one that you can get your hands on soon enough.

In any event, all the items in this kit are available for purchase separately, so I thought it would be helpful to give you a quick rundown on each of the seven items included: that way you'll have a snapshot of how I feel about the products individually and also the kit as a whole.

Here's what I received for my $51 AUD:

  • Checks & Balances Frothy Face Wash (30ml)
  • Ginzing Energy Boosting Gel Moisturiser (30ml)
  • High Potency Night-A-Mins Cream (30ml)
  • Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask (15ml)
  • Make A Difference Rejuvenating Hand Treatment (15ml)
  • Ginzing Rejuvenating Eye Cream (15ml)
  • Modern Friction Nature's Gentle Dermabrasion (15ml)

While it was a good-value purchase in theory when you calculate how much product I received in total (and how many items the set included), in practice the value wasn't quite there because most of the products didn't work well for me.

Origins Checks & Balances Frothy Face Wash (RRP $17 AUD for 50ml or $33 AUD for 150ml)

Full review here. This product didn't work for me at all, and I ended up using it as a body wash because it was far too astringent for my dry skin (its pH came in at somewhere between a nine and a ten, so that's hardly surprising).

Still, it was nice to use (the foam it created felt lovely: creamy and velvety) and I can see why a lot of people love it because it did effectively remove the gunk from my face. But I'm certainly not the only one who's said it strips their skin and dries it out - so I would be careful with this one. Even oily-skinned lasses have noted that it strips their skin to the point that they start to produce more oil, and those with sensitive skin have said that it causes their faces to flare up.

I would avoid this one. It left my skin feeling tight, pulled and parched. Not ideal.

Origins Ginzing Energy Boosting Gel Moisturiser (RRP $41 AUD for 50ml)

Full review here. This was an ok moisturiser for the warmer months because my skin isn't as dry these days, but long-term I personally need something more hydrating so I wouldn't buy it again.

I liked that it was a lightweight, cream/gel hybrid and I enjoyed the fresh orange scent. It also felt soothing and cooling when applied.

Problem is, it left my face feeling dry underneath (so I always needed to lay an oil down first), and I reckon that's because it wasn't absorbing properly and delivering moisture, but instead forming a protective barrier over the face that may suit some but it didn't bring the comfort to my dry skin that I need. 

While this may suit normal to oily skin types and it was nice to use, it wasn't for me.

Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins Cream (RRP $64 AUD for 50ml)

Full review here. My skin really enjoyed this product and I finished it last night, so I'm sad to see it go!

It applied, spread and absorbed well, and it was quite thick and rich but not so much so that it weighed the skin down or didn't absorb properly. It also had an orange scent that I found refreshing.

Not only did it make my dry skin feel comfortable, but it had a gentle resurfacing effect so my face looked happier and brighter after use, and it felt smoother too. Plus it made my skin feel softer and more hydrated, and it helped target dullness to boot.

Definitely worth sampling if you're in the market for a night cream.

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask (RRP $39 AUD for 100ml)

Full review here. This mask didn't work for me at all, and while it's had some good reviews, plenty of other people feel that this doesn't do anything for them either - so it's not just me and I would certainly test this before purchase.

What I noticed most about this mask is that my dry skin felt uncomfortable as the product dried down. Unfortunately it was also one of those masks that didn't give me any positive benefits after use (eg it didn't do anything for my break-outs or congestion), and the only change I noticed is that my face felt more dry and had that squeaky clean, stripped feeling after I washed it off. 

In the end I used the rest of it as a body mask, just to get through it. Life's too short.

Origins Make A Difference Rejuvenating Hand Treatment (RRP $23 AUD for 100ml)

Full review here. I loved this hand cream and I absolutely recommend it. Indeed, of all the products I tried in this set, it's the one that I'm most likely to buy - especially because it's reasonably priced for the amount of product you receive.

It had a sweet and green, garden-like scent, and it was quite thick and rich so it mightn't be for those who don't like heavier products - but for my dry skin, it was perfect.

I loved that it absorbed well and also did a fantastic job of bringing some relief to my dry skin. Plus it wasn't too greasy and it was a pleasure to use because it felt so nourishing without weighing my skin down. Love. It's on the wishlist!

Origins Ginzing Refreshing Eye Cream (RRP $45 AUD for 15ml)

Full review here. I didn't like this eye cream at all. 

It was lightweight in texture and felt more like a gel on the skin, so it may suit those with oily skin who don't like heavy creams. It had a sheen to it and Origins obviously put something reflective in the formula to give you the impression that the cream itself is making your eye area look more awake. It didn't do that for me, but my eyes did look a bit shiny after use - which wasn't a good thing in my case because all that did was emphasise my under-eye bags and also my eye-hoods.

Plus it wasn't hydrating enough so my eyes always felt uncomfortable underneath it and I had to lay an oil down first, and it didn't absorb well so my eye area felt and looked dry while I was using it. Blurgh.

Origins Modern Friction Nature's Dermabrasion (RRP $58 AUD for 125ml)

Full review here. While this contained exfoliating grains, there wasn't enough of them to give a decent exfoliation and they were also too large to do much - plus they were a little scratchy so I had to massage my face very gently when I used it.

Note that quite a few people have said this isn't an effective exfoliant and have made the same comments I have (see eg Mecca's website), so it's not just me and I would certainly test this before purchase because it mightn't do what you want it to do. I also agree with those reviewers who noted that it stung their eyes if some product slipped in there during the cleansing process.

Plus it contains peppermint and I have a slight intolerance to that ingredient so it irritated my skin, and while the pH wasn't super high (between a six and a seven), it still contains SLES and I found it rather drying on my skin. 

I would avoid this one.

In sum

This wasn't a great set overall in my case because most of the products didn't work well for me, but I did really enjoy the hand cream and the night cream - so much so that I may well buy them both down the track. I guess we can call that a relative success, because I've used sets before where nothing has made its way onto my wishlist.

As for my thoughts on Origins as a brand, I've heard it said before that it's hit-and-miss - and I completely agree. If you're interested in exploring the range, I would recommend going for a set like this (packed with a bunch of smaller products), rather than eg buying a three-piece set of larger items - only to find that none of them works. I would also suggest heading in-store and grabbing samples if you can (easier for some but not so easy for eg people in regional areas or those with young kids).

Anyhoo. That's all from me. Hope all's well with you, and speak soon x

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