Monday, November 22, 2010

Sampleicious Pot Luck: The Search for the Perfect Moisturizer Part 3 and More

As I've mentioned in the past, I love Sephora and love getting all of their free samples when I order something on their website. I've gathered quite the collection of samples but haven't been proactive about actually sampling the products. Sometimes you just need the right motivation to step aside from your daily routine and actually try new products. Now my first few "Sampleicious" reviews were specifically on moisturizers and were from a sample set that I purchased so the samples were "deluxe" samples which means they are bigger and will actually last a week or two. Most of my samples are little packets that are good for 1 or 2 uses. This does make it tougher to actualy get a gauge of if the product works or not but it's still great to feel the consistency, get a whiff of the scent, etc.

Above I mentioned finding the right motivation to actually try some of these samples. My motivation stems from cold weather, super dry skin, and one of those crazy people that won't leave you alone at the mall. I'm sure the end of that sentence needs a little explaining. I know all the ladies know what I'm talking about. When you're walking through the mall and a woman or man approaches you asking to see your nails. They might start by giving you a sample of lotion and if you take it, they have you hooked. Because I've been through this before, I usually don't take the sample or make eye contact with these people because they're very nice and I don't want to be rude but I don't want what they're selling and once they have you hooked they won't leave you alone. Well they caught me on a day when I was on a mission to try and find men's white flip flops the last weekend in October. Obviously this was a tough task and I was very distracted trying to decide what stores to look in and I made the mistake of taking the sample. The woman had baited and hooked me and because I didn't want to be rude, I let her reel me in. I told her right away, I already have that nail buffer thing they say is so magical and I honestly never use the thing. I thought I could get rid of her quickly because I thought that's all they were selling. Much to my suprise, she had a back up plan. Before I knew it, she had my sleeve rolled up and was rubbing dead see minerals on my wrist showing me how it slothed off dead skin cells and how moisturizer doesn't work properly without exfoliating your face twice a week. Now if I had some extra money, she may have gotten me, especially after she kept bringing the price down (never take the first offer from these people!) but I didn't so she wasted her time. However, she did plant the seed in my mind that I needed some sort of facial scrub so that my moisturizer would work properly. Especially since I am in the process of finding a new moisturizer, I want to give each sample a fair test on a fresh face.

So there was my motivation. I sifted through my samples to see if I had any facial scrub, mask, peel or exfoliant and came across Kate Somerville Exfolikate. I immediately started running the warm water, read the directions and began making circular motions with the grainy green substance all over my face. It burned a little and my face was red after rinsing but that was to be expected after rubbing a harsh substance in circular motions on your skin and the redness and stinging sensation didn't last long. Ultimately my face felt fresher and moisturizer ready after using this product. This product is very pricey, you can get .5 oz for $19 but for the full 5 oz size product, it's $175! I need to keep looking for an exfoliant because this is way out of my price range but since you are only supposed to use it twice a week, I'm sure a full size once would last you a while! Below is the fitting description from

ExfoliKate® Intensive Exfoliating Treatment

What it is:
A dual action exfoliation method.
What it is formulated to do:
Kate Somerville ExfoliKate® Intensive Exfoliating Treatment is Kate's top-selling product, and the next best thing to seeing Kate in the Clinic! Treat yourself to this at-home facial for fantastic, instant results. This signature formula works both physically and enzymatically to deliver safe, dramatic results in one application. It effectively combats acne and blackheads, reduces discoloration, and polishes skin for a smooth complexion. Welcome to healthy skin, a healthy glow, and a healthy you!
What else you need to know:
This expert formula harnesses the power of fruit enzymes to clarify skin by removing dead cells and eliminating bacteria. It is ideal for all skin types, except sensitive skin.

After sampling the exfoliant, I needed a moisturizer to finish my at home facial. I thought I had grabbed one but I actually had a similar looking sample that was an eye cream. I decided to try that first. It was Ole Henriksen Visual Truth Eye Cream. I believe an eye cream is one of those products that you feel better using, but I'm not sure how easy it is to see the results. Eye creams are probably more for long term use to save your eyes from wrinkles than instant visualization. Either way, this one felt nice on my skin and you only need to use a very tiny bit since the eye area is small so the sample actually lasted me all weekend. The one issue I had with this eye cream was I tried to put it on before bed one night and got a little in my eye, my eyes were watering for like 20 minutes it burned so bad. So be careful and don't put this product on when tired where you might make a mistake and get some on the inside of your eye. It's $45 for .5 oz but the eye area is small so this should last you a long time.

Visual Truth Eye Creme

Acting as a second skin this extra rich eye creme utilizes powerful humectants to bind moisture to the cells as it provides intense free radical protection to help prevent further damage. It instantly provides lift and resiliency to the delicate tissue surrounding the eyes, promoting elasticity and muscle tone to keep wrinkles at bay.

After using the eye cream, I popped open the matching moisturizer. This one is Ole Henriksen Express the Truth. This moisturizer felt really good on my face. I think it had an advantage because I had just exfoliated so any moisturizer may have felt great after that. This one does not have an SPF so it may not be what I was looking for but while marked unscented, it has a very pleasant scent to it and includes ingrediants such as African Red Tea and Vitamin C which appeal to me. It's $65 for 1.7 oz so it is quite pricey but again you don't need a lot per use even though you're covering your whole face.

Moisturizer # 3:

Ole Henriksen Express The Truth, $65 for 1.7 oz 

This truly superior antioxidant moisturizer helps your skin resist the formation of new wrinkles as it works through the night to repair existing fine lines and wrinkles. This ultra hydrating rich texture creme is packed with nature's most powerful antioxidants like ester C and African red tea to help to calm and soothe the skin as well as fight off environmental aggressors and free radical damage. Dry skin will be hydrated, lifted, and protected utilizing a synergy of ingredients like all natural macadamia nut oil, a deeply nourishing extract that works to repair skin during the night and polylysine, a unique all-natural peptide that greatly improves skins elasticity and muscle tone which inhibit deep wrinkles from forming.

The final sample I tried this past weekend was Laura Geller Lip Strip Cooling Sugar Scrub. I always have issues with dry or chapped lips so I'm addicted to trying any new lip products, especially ones that promise softer smoother lips. In the past I've used Mary Kay's Satin Lip Set and I used to be a big fan of it but I think I'm ready to see what else is out there. I've been saving this sample for a while now and I was finally ready to take the plunge. The one mistake I made was trying it after putting moisturizer on my face. A lip scrub can get a little messy around the edges so it's best to wait to put any products on your face until after using the scrub so you don't have moisturizer running down your chin. Aside from that minor mistake, I was very pleased with the scrub. You need very little so a small pot of this would last a long time. You just rub circular motions on your lips with the scrub and then rinse with warm water. My lips definitely felt softer after 1 use so I can imagine it would be even better using this product on a regular basis. Now the weird thing is, I am pretty sure I got this sample from Sephora where I get all my samples, but they don't seem to sell the brand or at least not anymore. After some googling, I did find this product at QVC, Amazon and Macy's along with some other sites ranging from $15-$19 for a 1 oz pot. Below is a description from QVC.

Laura Geller Lip Strip
Why is it different: This delicious formula blends cosmetic quality Brazilian sugar, a natural and mild exfoliant that smoothes and soothes, with peppermint and spearmint oils, which provide an invigorating, cooling sensation without irritation, in a creamy base. Loaded with lubricating butters, this soothing and effective treatment will help to smooth away dry, flaky skin on lips. Plus, it's so natural, you can actually lick it off!