December was another good month to get through more samples.
A few months ago, I got a little crazy on Beauty.com & Drugstore.com ordering cruelty free items including this lemongrass sage hand creme from butter LONDON. Meh. It smelled really nice but other than that it wasn't very impressive. I had to use a lot for my hands to feel moisturized and it didn't last very long. This was good for applying at night before bed, but I didn't find it to be effective during the day. It wasn't a total waste of $8 but I wouldn't buy it again.
Over Thanksgiving Weekend (and i use that broad range because i can't remember specifics) HauteLook offered their own sample bag for $19.95 + shipping. So for just under $30 I received a bag full of products including this Amir essential extracts moisturizer. This was your basic, non-greasy moisturizer that smelled just like tropical tanning lotion. I didn't feel there was anything special about it but it was fine. The scent was a tad overwhelming when it was first applied but it wasn't too bad after an hour or so.
I started using Retin-A about 5 weeks ago which has caused parts of my face to dry up and peel off. I realize that may sound like an exaggeration but it's really not. So I pulled out my stash of face creams and have started using heavier moisturizers at night and on days when I'm not wearing makeup. Essential day moisturizer is one of those samples I always seem to have on hand and I have no issues with that. It's light enough so that my face doesn't look greasy but it's does a good job relieving my dry patches. I love AHAVA products and was happy to receive this in my summer TestTube from NewBeauty.com. AHAVA is a cruelty free brand.
Here we have bareMinerals purely nourishing moisturizer. This is meant for combination skin and man-oh-man, did I love it. Undoubtedly this came from Ulta and I'm so glad I have another, larger sample still in my stash. This absorbed into my skin so well and left my face feeling soft and smooth. This is a moisturizer, much like AHAVA, that I would be happy to always have in my stash. bareMinerals is cruelty free but is owned by Shiseido.
I think this Josie Maran Argan cleansing oil came in the Kat Von D sample bag I got for yet another million dollar online order with Sephora. I like how soft oil cleansers leave my skin but find that they don't get rid of all my makeup. There's still a lot of residue remaining so I have wash again. Booo! So I liked how this went on my skin but for me, it was more of a pre-cleanse step. This product doesn't contain sulfates, parabens, synthetic dyes or fragrances and is cruelty free.
The Malin + Goetz moisturizer came from Sample Society in August. This was another item I thought I would never have use for but am glad I saved it. The foil packet is single serving so I can't say much other than it was just fine for my face. I would like to try other products from this brand because they are formulated for sensitive skin (which I am learning to adjust to) and is cruelty free.
I received the DDF brightening cleanser in my August Birchbox and the CellCeuticals extremely gentle cleanser in September from Sample Society. I used both in my morning shower so I can't say how well they may or may not have removed my layers of makeup. What I can say is that the brightening cleanser did irritate my skin a bit, especially if I left it on for too long. There was at least one day when my face was bright red and felt burned because I left the cleanser on for a few minutes whilst shaving. Brightening, indeed! The CellCeuticals, on the other hand, was extremely gentle. I didn't notice any irritation or tight feeling. DDF is owned by P&G who confirmed that they do test on animals and I'm not sure about CellCeuticals.
Yeay! More samples from Lather! These came with the lotion set my husband got me for Christmas. The coconut body whip was a nice body lotion; smooth and not too heavily scented. The ultra mild face wash is on the short list for my permanent life-cleanser because it's gentle but leaves my face clean. I think I'm developing a Lather addiction. Good thing their products are cruelty free.
Before I moved to cruelty free products, I had a cupboard full of Olay. I have to be honest, Olay has some great skin care at affordable prices. This complexion renewing lotion came from the NewBeauty.com summer TestTube and I used it a few nights a week with the Retin-A treatment. I think this might be the TARDIS of samples because it lasted forever despite its small size and I was fine with that. It had the right amount of moisture and left my skin feeling soft and smooth. It helped diminish some of the acne scars and redness, as well. I know I shouldn't like this because animals were tortured during its creation. But I'm not a liar, either. It worked.
November I told you that they sent me a bunch of stuff? Yeah, they did. Last month I tried the balancing shampoo and conditioner as well as the raspberry honey shave cream. And while I didn't love the other products I tried, these were more to my liking. The shampoo and conditioner were nice and left my hair feeling clean & soft. The shaving cream was actually pretty awesome. The raspberry scent wasn't overpowering or too sweet and it worked really well. This left my legs feeling smooth and soft, no dryness or irritation.
The Fekkai Shea butter moisturizing shampoo and conditioner came in the Target winter sample bag. They smelled really, really good, and therefore so did my hair, but I don't need this much moisture. My hair was smooth but almost a little greasy and heavy. Fekkai isn't cruelty free and I wouldn't use a product like this unless somehow my hair became really dry.
I got this Phyto Intense Hydrating Mask in my first Glossybox back in May. At the time, I was not very enthusiastic about it but I grew to love it and considered buying more until I discovered Amika. This was great for my hair after my semi-monthly clarifying shampoo treatment. It smells awesome and left my hair feeling so soft without being heavy. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to anyone with dry hair or who, like me, does an occasional moisture treatment. Phyto is cruelty free.
This is Loverdose perfume from Diesel. That name is stupid. The perfume, however, I liked. It was strong enough to last most of my day without being obnoxious. The strongest note is vanilla but it wasn't too sweet. There was the right amount of musk, citrus and sweet. I wouldn't buy it but it was a good sample for a few days.
Juara skincare is another brand that was kind enough to send me some samples of their all natural, cruelty free products. The Sweet Black Tea eye cream was nice and thick without being greasy. I was really loving it until I started using Retin-A, then it started to burn a bit around my eyes. It wasn't anything I couldn't handle but I don't know that I'd buy it because of that. But the texture was great, I love a thick eye cream that absorbs into the skin and moisturizes so well. The Rose & Willowbark blemish-free mask was another awesome product. It's pink and then turns almost red as it dries on the face which can be alarming, but I didn't experience any burning or irritation. It washed off easily and left my face smooth and clean. I didn't experience dryness or peeling and I've put the full size on my "Future Buy" list. The Sweet Black Tea & Ginger mattefying moisturizer was nice. It was nice and smooth, and didn't leave me greasy but isn't the perfect mattefying lotion I was searching for. I would recommend it to those still on the hunt, though. Overall, I was impressed with these three products from Juara and would happily try more.
And now on to the new year and many new things to try!
welcome and enjoy.