Samples Roundup: December 2017

     As the year draws to a close, I am happy to say that I am so proud of myself for curbing my beauty shopping habit over the past 12 months. It has been an uphill battle, but my wallet and my storage closet have appreciated the effort tremendously. I am looking forward to continuing this sampling series in 2018, which helps me to think thoroughly about each product I bring into my collection, and hopefully gives you some insight about new products. So without further ado, here are my first impressions on a week’s worth of samples (plus one bonus product!) to let you know whether or not I plan to purchase a full size of any of the products. For quick reference, WNR stands for Would Not Repurchase/Recommend and WR is Would Repurchase/Recommend.


  • Charlotte Tilbury 5 Medium Magic Foundation ($50*): As far as I’m concerned, the only thing magical about this foundation is its affordable price point. Now, I know $50 isn’t cheap, per say, but for that rather competitive price you’re getting a solid luxury full coverage foundation with a natural finish, built-in sunscreen, and a variety of skincare claims, all in a hygienic pump bottle. I found it dries quickly on the skin, so work in small sections at a time. This would be an ideal formula to use with a sponge, for you Beauty Blender fans. On me it lasted all day without creasing or breaking down. WR
  • Charlotte Tilbury 5 Medium Light Wonder Foundation ($55*): Magic and Light Wonder are nearly identical to the naked eye, in my opinion. Although it is designed for light coverage, on me Light Wonder gave full coverage as much as Magic did. It is slightly more radiant, but barely. Major difference is this one comes in a plastic bottle (for $55? Really?) and by day’s end I could see minor creasing. It did feel a bit more substantial on the skin, but also hydrating. Again, the differences are not significant, but I’d choose Magic over this. WNR
  • Charlotte Tilbury Overnight Bronze & Glow Mask ($65*): This tanning mask made no difference to my skin, as far as I can tell. To be fair, they recommend using it three nights in a row, but it’s not my thing anyways. I prefer good ol’ bronzer. WNR
  • Charlotte Tilbury Unisex Healthy Glow Hydrating Tint ($50*): I like this item in theory, and I am so happy that CT chose a man to headline this campaign, but it’s just not for me. This is much more a liquid bronzer than a tinted moisturizer. It goes on clear and then adjusts to give a tan, but it looks like a poorly matched medium weight foundation on me. I wore it alone, without any further makeup (that’s a lie, I set it with Guerlain’s Meteorites), and was worried that I looked flat and dimension-less. I am further concerned that hairier-faced men will have trouble blending this in, and because it is not being marketed as a makeup item, I’m worried that it won’t be removed like one, which it needs to be. Again, the thought behind this was nice, but it falls flat for me. WNR
  • Garnier Whole Blends Marvelous Shampoo & Conditioner ($4.66 each*): This stuff showed up randomly in my mailbox, which was entirely unnecessary but totally awesome. Thanks, Garnier! Firstly, both this shampoo and conditioner smell heavenly, similar to the Nuxe oil line, very floral. The shampoo lathers nicely, and leaves hair super conditioned, as though you’ve run it through with a leave-in oil (but not greasy!). The conditioner was also nice, but took some time to wash out as it is so nourishing. Overall I’m not a big believer in conditioners as a whole, but this shampoo was awesome, and for an unbelievable price. WR
  • Garnier Whole Blends Honey Treasures Shampoo & Conditioner ($4.66 each*): Smells like a cheap vanilla candle, strips hair. Not a fan. WNR
  • LUSH Cosmetics Angels On Bare Skin Face & Body Cleanser ($16.95*): This recipe is supposedly based on some Medieval one, and I can believe that as it is so primitive. It features a physical exfoliant that was so fine it was practically undetectable, kaolin clay to suck up any moisture from the skin, and enough fragrance to scent a large castle. It even made my eyes water, and I was already in the shower! They claim this is perfect for sensitive skin, but I wouldn’t dare recommend it to anyone. WNR
  • LUSH Cosmetics Gorgeous Moisturizer ($87.95*): There’s another myth behind this product, and it is that this cream is based on Princess Diana’s own special potion. As it is pricier than some Dior creams on the market, I was thinking this stuff must be fit for royalty, but unless the royal family has a serious tolerance for offensive scents, I wouldn’t bet on it. While it sank into the skin super fast, and felt firming, I can get a similar effect for similar prices with a superior smell. I have this problem that whenever I go into a LUSH store my nose turns blind, so I’m happy I tried this before buying it just because of the story. 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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