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Monday, 24 August 2015

Minis #2 | Samples & Freebies | Summer Series


It's that time again, I have a stash of samples and freebies that I've been trying.
There are some new brands to me, that I wouldn't normally buy or try. And some old favourites too!

And for those of you wondering, Rob has a mini feature on this post too.

Let's jump to it...

Nivea In Shower Body Moisturiser for Dry Skin

I got the sample for this in a magazine, and I was keen to try it, as I am desperately trying to improve my body skincare routine! It was very easy to use, as you would expect, as it's purpose is to save you time.

The texture was similar to a regular body lotion, just runnier. 

It definately made my skin feel softer immediately afterwards. I'm not a sufferer of dry skin, and I noticed a mild improvement, so if dryness was a concern for you, I'm not sure how much of a difference this would make.
I do feel it is a bit of a novelty, but it did the job well enough with minimum faff.
Would I buy full size product: Possibly 


Estée Lauder Clear Difference - Oil Control/ Mattifying Hydrating Gel

I liked the texture of this, although I often find with moisturisers designed for oily or blemished skin, they are not hydrating enough for me. 

I think I would prefer to spend more money else where in my routine.

Would I buy the full size product: Unlikely

Estée Lauder Clear Difference - Advanced Blemish Serum

I've been lusting after this serum for some time now. Lauder are renowned for their serums (anyone heard of Advanced Night Repair?) and I wanted to try this one badly, but I didn't want to part with my cash before giving it a whirl first, as I'm tired of investing in products and being disappointed.

It's a lovely light weight texture, not too dissimilar to my current serum, it had an unusual smell, but I try not to let smell alter my opinion on a product when it's irrelevant, and it disappeared quickly.

I think long term I could really get along with this serum. The ingredients agree with my skin, and I feel like it's doing something good for my skin.
Would I buy the full size product: definately, when I have the funds


Jessica Custom Nail Colour in Floating Beauty

This hot pink colour was free in last months Red magazine. It was a full size bottle, so very generous.
I don't often paint my finger nails with regular polish (normally gel polish).

It was a delight to apply, I really liked the brush, and a nice colour and coverage was achieved after two coats. I would suggest applying a base and top coat to increase longevity of the colour. But definately not to be sniffed at for a free gift.
Would I buy full size product: Likely, for a colour on my toes.

Ciaté Mini Nail Polish in Strawberry Milkshake

There is nothing I would like more than to name nail polish colours (or paint swatches!), Strawberry Milkshake?! Thats too cute.

This nail colour and speedy topcoat was free in last months Marie Claire magazine.
I wasn't too keen on the constancy of this polish. It seemed a bit too thick, and the brush was a bit too chunky and I felt it was hard to get close to my cuticles without bleeding on them.

On a plus side a great colour was achieved after only two applications, which is often hard for a pale colour. The top coat didn't give it a particularly glossy finish, but it did dry incredibly fast.
Would I buy full size product: No, there are too many varnish brands I prefer.

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer

I had actually written a review previously on the blog about this product (which I have since deleted), we're talking 2013, and I've learnt so much more about makeup and skincare since then, so when I was offered a sample when I was buying my Smashbox foundation I thought I'd give it a whirl again.

I'm still not super keen on the texture, even though it is oil free. As far as primers go, I haven't found one that make a significant difference to the life of my makeup, even with long lasting foundations. And this one is no different.

I do know many people who love various Smashbox primers, so I know they work for some, and I'd still like to try their new water primer.
Would you buy the full size product: No


Clarins Water Purify One-Step Cleanser

This is, what I imagine, Clarins version of the popular Micellar waters. Although Clarins have had these style cleansers long before Garnier launched theirs.

This one is for combination-oily skin, which I appreciate, and contains mint making it nice and refreshing. Like with my Garnier Micellar water, I wouldn't use it as my daily cleanser, possibly if I was in a rush in the morning or needed to refresh my makeup later in the day.
Would I buy the full size product: No, as I feel it's a pricey cleansing water

Clarins Tonic Oil

In my June mini's I tried the Relax oil which I wasn't too fussed about. But I really like this scent. It also helps to firm and tone this skin, so is popular for Mums-to-be or people looking to improve the suppleness of their skin.

I've found this really lovely to apply in the morning to invigorate me or in the afternoon as a pick-me-up.
Would you buy the full size product: Yes

Clarins Body Lift Cellulite Control

I've been wanting to try this product for a long time too. I don't suffer from cellulite badly, but you can use it as a preventative too, which weirdly I'd chose over a preventative eye cream...

I find this so fun to apply. You only have to apply it to areas where you suffer or are of concern, so for me was really just my thighs and bum. A little goes a long way and the texture is quickly absorbed, it also gives you a refreshing tingle so it's good to get you going in the mornings! 

As I've said numerous times, I really want to start a body skin care routine, and I think this is a great product to add to my slowly expanding regime.
Would you buy the full size product: Already have!

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Now for the Mens review by Rob



Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream

For anyone who read my last Kiehl’s sample review after our honeymoon in April you will know that I didn’t get on with the Ultra Facial Cream with SPF. That caused me great discomfort as it made my eyes constantly stream once applied. Therefore I was dubious as I began to trial this sample.

At application I was surprised. The more traditional cream didn’t make my eyes stream (which I am now told is caused by the SPF) and it did not feel as though it caked my skin. You know that feeling the old factor 50 sun cream used to give you when you were a kid?


Midday - No. Just no. I looked like a shining mess. Throughout the afternoon I had to physically wipe the shine from my forehead. But I cannot say I wasn’t surprised

Evening - You may have suspected, it didn’t improve. It was a lovely feeling to get the cleanser on at the end of the day to truly get the day off!!!

Would I Buy It? - No. I was dubious to use it and rightly so. I think next time I’m offered these samples I will politely decline! That is if I have any say over what samples they give me!



Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream

This was much more up my street. Aimed at the oily skinned demographic I expected good things from the Gel Cream. 


At application I wasn’t disappointed, I have moved away from your traditional ‘cream’ style moisturisers which I dislike using. I prefer less bulky/blocky gel products. Absorption was rapid and even. Skin was left feeling, dare i say it, fresh and hydrated.

Midday - Not bad at all. Little signs of grease and still feeling pretty fresh! A good lead into the afternoon!

Evening - Wow, I think it’s power was drained in the day. Much more significant shine at the end of the day.

Would I Buy It? - A tough one, I’d probably opt for something that lasts that little bit longer than the working day. So that’s a no from me.


Kielh's Facial Fuel

Instant thoughts were that, like with other Kiehl’s products I’ve tried, the texture/consistency was great off the bat. Smooth, a decent density but not too thick.


At application it spread easily and absorbed with no fuss. I wasn’t left feeling like I’d layered something across my skin but slightly refreshed. I think this is where the ‘energising’ aspect comes into it. I’m not sure if it’s anything more than novel but a cooling sensation remains after application that soon wears off.


Midday - I’m always very aware of my skin throughout the day. Working in an office I spend a lot of time resting my head on my hands, adjusting my hair or studiously twizzling my beard/moustache. The facial fuel was doing ok, not great. My forehead was showing signs of shine as the oils in my skin were coming through. Frustrating if you’re heading into an afternoon meeting!



Evening - Through the door from work, it’s been another five hours and I’m about to ‘take the day off’. Surprisingly there wasn’t much more degradation, I was reasonably happy with the performance from the Facial Fuel


Would I Buy It? - Yes I think so, at £21 for 75ml (£29 for 125ml) it’s not extortionately priced and I very much enjoyed the application. I’m considering the fact that it’s not a dedicated oily complexion product and it’s done well for me.


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What samples have you tried lately?

Do you like to try before you buy?



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