I've wanted to do one of these posts for a while now, but while I hoard samples like a manic squirrel, I can never seem to use them up. This last week was a perfect opportunity, however, as I had to fly out to Toronto for work. Since I prefer not to check my luggage, I stuffed that little plastic baggie from airline security full of little tubes and packets.
My skin tends to act up when I travel, so I grabbed these two acne-fighting packets from Dermalogica.
Dermalogica Clear Start Wash Off - This has nice mix of pimple-busting ingredients, including Tea Tree oil and salicylic acid, plus a variety of extracts. For a foaming wash aimed at acne-prone skin I found it surprisingly non-drying. It was refreshing, left my skin feeling smooth and soft, not tight. It has an herbal scent, which is pleasant. I'm not sure if it did anything extraordinary though, since the various extracts and other beneficial ingredients didn't stay on my skin for very long. At the very least it did nothing catastrophic. Won't be purchasing a full size.
Dermalogica Clear Start Hit The Spot - This one is chock-full of stuff. Extracts galore, plus zinc sulfate, sulfur and that Tea Tree again. The smell is FAR more pungent - the sulfur adds a certain egg-y odor that does NOT dissipate as the day wears on. It's unfortunate because this is actually an incredibly effective spot treatment. It reduces redness and swelling, somehow getting the spots to simmer down to less volcanic levels immediately, and renders them irrelevant within a couple of days.
Really awesome, and I will definitely be purchasing a full size - to use at night, when only my beloved can be tortured by my egg-salad-smelling face.
I also wanted to bring a cleanser option from Fresh that I knew would be gentle, in case the one above turned out to be too harsh. Since I wouldn't be packing by regular Hydraluron tube and Cerave lotion, I figured a serum/lotion from Guerlain would be fine.
Fresh Soy Face Cleanser - This was ok. I can't say anything more dramatic than that. It cleaned my skin, it was gentle, it smelled vaguely like cucumbers. It's good, not mind-blowing, and the full size is pricy. I'm sure I could find something comparable from the drugstore.
Guerlain Super Aqua-Serum Intense Hydration Wrinkle Plumper - Even though this is a serum, it has a milky-lotion texture and provides more hydration that a serum typically does. It also has hyaluronic acid, which is my jam these days. It did a fine job of moisturizing and keeping the fine lines around my eyes under control. Plump, even. :P
It also smells AMAZING. I know - fragrance in skincare isn't a selling point, but I'm not generally reactive to scent and this has that classic rose/violet/awesome smell that most Guerlain products do. But....I'm not ready to spend upwards of 100$ on one skincare item. Not yet anyway. I will treasure you always, Sample Guerlain Tube, but we are not meant to be.
I didn't want to pack a foundation bottle, so I tried to make do with a BB cream from Biotherm and the new pressed foundation from Bare Minerals.
Biotherm Aquasource BB Cream - This is really nice, though definitely heavier on the moisturizer than the coverage. I rubbed it in all over, and sort of tapped more on areas that were more red (thankfully my cheek area, which is the driest portion of my face). The coverage is about what I would expect for a tinted moisturizer, and the overall effect is natural, healthy and luminous. With a touch of concealer and powder, it would work beautifully for low-maintenance days. And it smells awesome too! Super fresh and yummy. I want a body cream that smells like that.
Bare Minerals Ready SPF 20 Foundation - Urgh. I wanted to like this. I love pretty much everything I've tried from their Ready line, but this was just powdery and weird, and sat on top of the skin in a cake-y mess. I don't know if maybe I just got a bum sample, but I'm definitely not enticed into trying a full-sized version.
Motivated by this successful sampling program, I tested another foundation when I got home.
Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup - (Why with the endlessly long product names??) I mixed two shades because the 3.5 is a touch too pink and the 2.0 is a bit too light. The result still skewed a little too rosy on me, but wearable. I remember trying this foundation when it first came out, and being unimpressed. The coverage seemed poor and it got all caught up in the dry parts of my face. I was using a brush to apply it then, and I think that was part of the problem.
This time I used my hands, but not in a rubbing motion. For lack of a better term, I pretty much "slapped" this foundation on. Smeared a bit between my fingers and slapped it around my face, dabbing more precisely around my nose and over areas that needed extra coverage. I got medium coverage out of it that way, and it looked incredibly natural, neutralized the appearance of pores, and felt incredibly lightweight. The finish is satin, veering towards dewy on the nose about middway through the day, so I need some powder to set it and/or maybe a primer - but the finish is so nice, I'm considering a bottle purchase.
So I think that was a successful sample spree, no? Now I'm itching to make my way through more of my stash!