Samples Roundup: May 2017

     As a beauty junkie I am always gathering samples, which typically come with online purchases. I thought it would be fun to share my first impressions on a week’s worth of samples and let you know whether or not I plan to purchase a full size of the products. For quick reference, WNR stands for Would Not Repurchase/Recommend and WR is Would Repurchase/Recommend.

  • Ole Henriksen 3 Little Winders ($86*): Oh, Ole Henriksen… Perhaps due to my Sephora Cast past, I am always inclined to give this brand another shot at impressing me. Unfortunately, it rarely does. I’ve previously owned and used both the Sheer Transformation and Truth Serum, and marked both with a “Would Not Repurchase” tag. To recap, the Truth Serum is a good vitamin C serum that smells like oranges and sinks into the skin super quickly, but its clear glass bottle compromises the freshness of the product. The brand claims their vitamin C is “stabilized” and doesn’t need a lightproof container, but experts say otherwise. They had the opportunity to make this minor improvement in the recent brand makeover, but they chose not to. Sheer Transformation is a decent moisturizer, but nothing about it is worth $82* on its own. So, I gave the Invigorating Night Treatment a go to see what the hype was about, and to test if it was any better than the other “Little Wonders.” It has since been re-branded as a night serum to exfoliate and even the tone of the skin, which I don’t think it did for me. Mind you, I prefer a physical exfoliant anyways, but if I had to choose a chemical peel, I wouldn’t choose this one. I’ll keep trying Ole’s products, but I’m honestly getting fed up. Do any products in his line actually do something?! WNR
  • Dry Bar Sake Bomb Shampoo + Conditioner ($30* each): I think that of the two, I preferred the shampoo better. It had a really yummy scent, and a powerful yet light lather. Worked through product nicely, and left hair squeaky clean. I’m by no means a hair expert, so I can’t vouch for the ingredients, but I feel that if I had an extra $30 gift card to Sephora lying around I may decide to purchase a full size. The conditioner was pretty boring, and my hair felt just as stripped and dry after using it as with any drugstore variety option. As for the brand itself, I don’t know much besides that they’re family-founded and pride themselves on only doing blowouts at their salons, named after alcoholic beverages, for $35 flat (which means guys with short hair like me are out of luck). I’m interested in their tools, though! WR
  • Burberry Brit Rhythm ($95*): This was kinda funny, it was a scented temporary tattoo. From the 2 seconds that the fragrance lasted, I judged that I would be willing to actually try this in person. The tattoo itself looked terrible, if you were wondering. WNR
  • Clarins Rose Instant Light Complexion Illuminating Base ($38*): At first I was confused about what this product aims to do, but then I got it. It’s a low-grade, cheaper, would-be “dupe” for Dior’s DreamSkin Perfector. It claims to perfect the tone of the skin, while brightening and helping your makeup last all day long. The only problem is, it doesn’t work! This “primer” smells terrible, doesn’t give the skin much of a glow at all, and my makeup broke up on me by day’s end. Strong pass on this one, invest in the Dior instead, which does all the above plus much more. WNR
  • Lancôme Visionnaire Nuit Beauty Sleep Perfector ($99*): I’m the first to hate on a Lancôme product, but I actually liked this. My skin felt smooth and hydrated in the morning, even though the cream is aggressively fragranced. WR
  • Biotherm Blue Therapy Lift & Blur ($83*): I’m finding that I am not a fan of Biotherm’s textures. They’re too thick for me, yet do too little. Felt a little tug on my skin (especially on the forehead and cheeks) with this cream, but I’m not desperate enough to spend over eighty bucks on that. Yet. UPDATE: After a couple hours this began to peel something terrible on my skin, rolling off in white pieces. Gross! Had to scrub it off. WNR
  • Biotherm Skin Best Night ($72*): Beyond the tacky, smelly texture of the cream, I don’t feel like it did anything for my skin. Upon waking my skin was not “visibly younger, well-rested, radiant, and smoother.” In fact, it felt as though I’d gone to bed without anything on! WNR

     Have you tried any of these products? What have you been loving this season?

*Prices true at time of writing.

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