Samples Roundup: August 2018 (MILK, Jo Malone, LUSH, Inglot, Darphin, Francis Kurkdjian, Lancome)

For quick reference, WNR stands for Would Not Repurchase/Recommend and WR is Would Repurchase/Recommend.


© Gil Segev 2018

  • MILK Light Blur Liquid Matte Foundation ($48*): I was really surprised by this foundation, for all the weirdest reasons. First, I’ll mention that I had to go out to Sephora to get a proper sample, as this swatch card didn’t contain enough product for an application. The foundation is very full coverage but not cakey or heavy, which is nice. It lasted the entire day without any creasing or breaking down – impressive! It also has good antioxidant ingredients and contains no silicone or oils, if you’re concerned about those. What surprised me was that despite the mattifying claims, I was absolutely shiny by the end of the day, and that’s coming from someone whose skin is normally hella dry! It would definitely not be oily skin friendly, but my dry skin loved it and I liked the greasy appearance – to me it looks healthy. All in all, a very solid foundation for a reasonable price! WR
  • Jo Malone Myrrh & Tonka Cologne Intense ($230*): Now that Jo Malone is in Sephora I have been exploring it a bit, since I was always too intimidated to do so at department stores where the pressure to “buy now!” is always intense. Myrrh & Tonka stood out right away from the sea of fresh, light scents that Jo is known for. It is part of their “intense” range, which is naturally pricier. Myrrh & Tonka has this dry vanilla vibe which intensely reminds me of Atelier Cologne’s Vanille Insensee. However, unlike the latter, Myrrh & Tonka also has a deep, smoky quality reminiscent of charcoal. If you tried Vanille Insensee and it was too sweet for you, or if you enjoy Replica’s By The Fireplace, this may be worth exploring. For me the longevity (or lack thereof) unfortunately makes the insane price even worse, so I will not be picking up a bottle. WNR
  • LUSH Cosmetics Jersey Bounce Shampoo ($19.95*): I was intrigued that this shampoo has egg in it, especially coming from a brand famous for being “vegetarian” – guess animal byproducts don’t count. Regardless of ethics, this shampoo is a sensorial experience. It has a thick jelly texture with coarse sea salt, and as it foams up it releases a potent citrus aroma. Only problem was, after rinsing my hair felt as stripped and dry as after, well, a dip in the ocean. All that salt is not dry hair friendly, which saddens me because otherwise I really liked it. WNR
  • Inglot 76 HD Perfect Coverup Foundation ($52*): Inglot is a brand I don’t get to try often because they are so scarce in Canada, but on a recent trip to Toronto I picked up some highlighters and this sample. This is a full coverage, natural finish foundation that feels weightless, I could hardly tell I had anything on. It wore really well all day except on my nostrils, where it cracked visibly. I guess I’ve become so picky with foundations that something like that, plus the unpleasant scent to the product and a lack of SPF is enough to turn me off. It takes a lot to impress me these days! I guess if the formula had some more skincare claims or wore flawlessly I would be more satisfied. WNR
  • Darphin Hydraskin Infusion Eye Gel-Cream ($45*): If you’re in the market for a light yet hydrating cream, this will do the trick. It absorbs nicely yet leaves skin feeling coated, which I like. It has frozen water algae, Salicornia Herbacea, and lavender to nourish the area. Unfortunately I just found this formula completely uninspired and will not be purchasing. WNR
  • Maison Francis Kurkdjian Masculin Pluriel ($235*): This is a brand I once explored in a PR review, and I ended up getting rid of all four bottles I was sent (sorry guys!). At the time I couldn’t see the appeal, and the particular scents were sent to me blindly so I didn’t get to pick a favourite. On the same trip to Toronto mentioned above for Inglot I also popped in Saks, and was surprised to end up at the MFK counter. I spent a lot of time trying things out, and walked away with some samples of this scent, which stood out most to me. Masculin Pluriel is a modern twist on a traditional barbershop scent, like your grandfather’s cologne reimagined. It features lavender, leather, and lots of woodsy notes, all of which I typically avoid. Somehow, however, they’ve imparted them an aquatic freshness that makes them sort of transparent, like a ghost of a memory that’s hard to pinpoint. This scent can be smelled by others, yet it never becomes overwhelming. It lasts all day, and like fine wine it develops new notes as it ages on the skin. By the end it reacts with my skin to evoke sweet vanilla with only the faint touch of leather, which is sexy and masculine. I did end up returning to purchase the 30 mL travel set. WR
  • Lancome Jasmins Marzipane ($215*): First thing first, did you guys know about Nordstrom’s sampling policy? It’s insane, you can literally sample anything in the store and as much as you want, no limits. I was seriously impressed. I’d heard good things about Lancome’s “Maison” range and decided to give it a shot, and Jasmins Marzipane sounded most appealing. I wore it three times before writing this review because, truthfully, I always forgot I was wearing it by the end of the day. And indeed, I must conclude that this scent has exceptionally poor longevity, especially for the price. For the first hour or two it smells vividly of high quality, creamy jasmine, and in the dry down it features clean vanilla and musk. This combination is so unoriginal that it sort of disappears from the skin. Despite the beautiful packaging and the beautiful opening note, I can’t drop so much money on something that won’t last on my skin. I have hope for the others in this line and will be sampling them in the future, but this one let me down hard. 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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