Samples Roundup: March 2018

Hi everyone! I feel like it has been some time since I’ve really written on this blog beyond thoughts on products, so this is a little update about me. At the time of publication I’ll be preparing for my second year university exams, which segways nicely in the obvious reason that I’ve been fairly inactive on this blog for over a year (besides these monthly check-ins). As a full time, full course-load student working part time, I simply don’t have the time or energy to promote beauty brands online for free. This could certainly change in the future, but right now that’s where I’m at. I’m still using, buying, and enjoying cosmetics as much as ever! I’m also still committed to my values, including supporting indie, handmade, original, ethical, and proportionally priced cosmetics in whatever form they happen to take.

Long story short, I hope you’re all doing well, and that you’re enjoying this samples series. It has honestly helped me so much in learning more about different brands, and has also saved me a lot of money when it comes to “dud” products. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, some months I like most of the samples I try, and other months I don’t like very many at all. This month it’s the latter. For quick reference, WNR stands for Would Not Repurchase/Recommend and WR is Would Repurchase/Recommend.


© Gil Segev 2018

  • Dr. Brant Needles No More 3-D Filler Mask ($110*): An interesting product, but not my favorite mask by any means. This sleeping mask requires a clean, bare face, so I couldn’t use this for more than one night in a row as it doesn’t provide really any hydration. It has a really thick whipped consistency which at first heats then cools on the skin. I was very skeptic of the claims, but was pleasantly surprised that within about an hour of application the small lines on my forehead all but disappeared and my smile lines were reduced. So in that regard, it works to smooth and fill, but it’s definitely not a replacement for a good night cream. I did find the suggested application technique interesting, because it involves pressing the product upwards into the skin, then patting it – very K-Beauty, indeed. WNR
  • Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream ($75*): I’m all for innovation and competition in the market, but this relatively new line just hasn’t interested me at all for lack of exciting ingredients, concepts, or formulas. This cream is overpriced for what it is; all it claims to do is hydrate. It felt like spreading thick lard on my skin, and smelly lard at that. My skin would fare better with a far less frivolously marketed option. WNR 
  • D&G 3 L’Imperatrice ($93*): This is part of Dolce & Gabbana’s Anthology collection, and it’s the last piece of that range that you can currently purchase at Sephora Canada (Shoppers doesn’t carry any of them, as far as I know). The smoldering campaign by Mario Testino does nothing to describe the scents, or at least this particular one. Assigned to superstar Naomi Campbell, it is a super sweet fruity number that has zero lasting power, much like a cheap body spray. Watermelon gum also comes to mind. Basically, it’s not worth its price, and is especially disappointing coming from a house that usually knows how to do sexy very well. Unfortunately, it doesn’t warrant a purchase for me. WNR
  • Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Shampoo & Conditioner ($39* & $42*): First of all, I don’t understand why these two smell so wildly different if they’re in the same range. I didn’t care for the smell of the shampoo, but the conditioner was delicious. Shampoo was just meh, it didn’t wash out my hair paste properly and left it feeling stripped. The follow-up conditioner was also not great past its scent, it took the whole 7mL packet to do up my short hair and it still didn’t feel good. For the price I would expect better performance and ingredients. These are just not very impressive. WNR
  • Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Moisturizer ($36*): This product seemed too good to be true, and it is. Even though it is competitively priced, smells nice, has a lovely gel-cream texture, and contains nice ingredients, I found that is didn’t do enough for my winter-dried skin. In fact, instead of providing a barrier of hydration against moisture loss throughout the day, it forms a film on the skin that feels tight and dry. Final point of criticism, on the Sephora website this product is called oil-free, yet on the ingredients list you’ll find no less than four different oils within the first eleven ingredients listed. WNR
  • Origins High-Potency Night-A-Mins Mineral-Enriched Renewal Cream ($58*): This, on the other hand, was lovely. Thick, balm-cream texture that cocoons the skin in refreshing hydration. Lots of nice ingredients, smells great, and the price is really fair in my opinion. Nice for those winter nights when your face needs a boost! WR
  • Too Faced Born This Way Foundation ($49*): My match was Light Beige, a light neutral. This foundation provides full coverage with a natural finish, in a very sheer, light texture. It wore nicely on the skin, yet felt dry despite its skincare claims (not surprising: its hyaluronic acid is extremely far down the ingredient list). I feel like this would be excellent for those with oilier complexions than my own, or perhaps better suited for the summer. Right now, though, I have to pass. 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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