As you can see, I'm a bit of a hoarder when it comes to beauty samples, and the above collection is the result of several years worth of magazines freebies, shop samples, competition wins, Birchbox minis, etc. After hunting through my sample box for a travel friendly cleanser the other day, I realised just how many freebies I actually have. For some reason I rarely use samples straight away, but add them to my box thinking that they will come in useful at some point in the future, breakouts, holidays etc. They are great for travelling, but let's be honest, a girl only needs so many miniature packets of moisturiser. So I set myself the task of using up as many as possible. I filled up a small box with a week's worth of samples, and tried my hardest to use them (and only them) for the next week. Obviously there were some things I didn't have samples of to replace but on the whole I was pretty good at sticking to my sample box
I adore the smell of this cleanser, it's all kinds of toffee/caramel/popcorn goodness, and I will definitely be purchasing a full sized version. It's exfoliating, but very gentle, and applies really easily.
This really reminded me of my Kiehls cleanser. It has the same thick, slightly sticky texture, and smell (which I can't even begin to describe. A good, basic cleanser, great for removing makeup and din't leave my skin feeling too tight and dry.
This has a really weird texture, it's a gel but very runny. It smells lovely and was really gentle on my skin, not foaming at all. Great for sensitive skin and calming redness.
A very finely exfoliating cleanser, a little of this went a long way. The exfoliating beads weren't at all harsh so didn't leave my skin feeling stripped.
A typical day cream, I loved the scent of this, it also applied beautifully and didn't leave my skin looking at all oily. You could probably get away with wearing it as a makeup base.
Okay, this is definitely not the kind of day cream you want to apply if you need to leave the house. Despite appearing like a normal, lightweight day cream, this becomes really oily upon contact with the skin, and sits on the skin almost like a serum. I didn't really experience any 'wow' effects with this, it just sat there looking shiny...
Wow. The rumours are true. This primer is amazing. Despite appearing tinted, all pigment seems to disappear on application, so don't worry about appearing orange when you first see this product. It has a very strange texture, kind of dry, and sinks straight into your skin. Literally straight in. My foundation applied beautifully over this and lasted all day. A miracle worker.
Very different to the above. This is a moisturising primer and felt and applied just like a moisturiser. I had to give it a few minutes to sink in before applying my foundation and my skin was still a little tacky, but my makeup didn't budge all day.
This has a similar texture to The Porefessional, but without the wow factor. I found it didn't help much with shine, and my makeup certainly didn't last as long as it did with Benefit's primer.
I've seen so many reviewers raving about this foundation so picked up a sample from my Estee Lauder counter. The shade I was given (Ivory Nude) is a perfect match for my skin tone. This is an incredibly thick foundation, and kind of smells like poster paint (just me?) but it lives up to its name completely, lasting so much longer/better than my Chanel foundation. It gives amazing coverage, (no need for concealer) but didn't look mask-like, as some heavy foundation can.
I've sampled this mascara before and LOVE it. If I ever ditch my beloved L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes, then it will be for this. Super volumising, but great at lengthening and separating lashes too. The only downside? The price.
This was a freebie with October's Glamour magazine, a magazine I don't usually buy but after seeing so many people (including Alexa Chung) rave about Eyeko I couldn't resist. Basically a black felt tip pen with a very fine tip, this allows for hassle-free, precision application and is prefect for both a thick, winged look, or for giving a tiny bit of definition to the lash line.
Despite looking very bright and pigmented this actually applies really faintly. It worked well as a blusher, looking very natural, but didn't really show up as a lip stain.
Hands and lips:
This has a lovely mild, expensive scent and sinks straight into my skin without leaving them tacky. I've used it a lot as the cold weather has been making my hands a bit dry and it leave them feeling nourished and moisturised.
I found this quite hard to apply as it comes out of the tube more solid than liquid. After application it feels similar to Vaseline but a little thicker, and lasts longer.
This cult favourite is surrounded by hype and definitely lived up to my expectations. It has a pleasant citrus scent, almost like marmalade and applied smoothly and easily. I didn't notice any major effects immediately afterwards but am guessing it's the kind of product where time will tell. Unfortunately at £30 a pot, I don't think time will tell for me.
I've used and loved the Montagne-Jeunesse masks since my early teens. This one was great, applied easily and left my skin feeling smooth and deeply cleansed. Hard to remove, but worth it. And the mini sachet was the perfect size, I always find the standard size ones have enough product for three applications, but dry up if you leave them open.
This felt and smelled just like your bog standard body moisturiser so it felt kind of weird applying it in the shower. It was moisturising and left my skin feeling soft, but nothing wow?
I'm in love with the smell of this and would definitely repurchase. It applied easily, lathered well, and the smell lingered for a while after use.
I'm not a huge Ylang-Ylang fan but after a few uses I think the scent might be growing on me. Good as shower gels go in terms of lathering, and I enjoyed using it in conjunction with...
This helps to prolong the Ylang-Ylang scent of the body wash, and lingers for quite a while after use without being overpowering. It is lovely and moisturising, but hard to get out of the bottle as it's very thick.
I've used this shampoo before, and it's one of my favourites, leaving my hair super soft and silky. It doesn't work quite as well with my hair as Aussie shampoo does, but is the next best thing.
I've seen a lot of people rave about this shampoo but really didn't think much of it myself. The sample size wasn't especially generous so I couldn't use as much as I would have liked, it didn't lather well, and my hair got greasy again within two days of using this.
Another product I've seen a lot of hype over. It smells lovely but doesn't apply very well, it seemed to disappear immediately upon application so I couldn't really work it into my hair at all.
I applied this by pouring a little onto my fingertips, rubbing them together, and then running it through the tips of my hair before drying. It left the soft and smelling gorgeous, but unfortunately the smell didn't linger long.
This has a really strong love it or hate it smell which I couldn't even begin to describe, but it's very strong, and lingers. This applies as a thick cream, so I rub it between my finger tips and run it through the ends of my hair (post-drying). It leaves them silky soften. And scented...
This smells AMAZING. It appears to be more of a cream/gel upon application but immediately becomes smoother and more serum-like as you apply it. It then dries in a kind of mask-like way rather than sitting sticky, which can be a pain before bed. My skin felt super smooth come the morning and my make-up applied like a dream. I just wish it wasn't so darn expensive!
I was only expecting this to last one or two uses but I actually got five very decently sized applications from it. It's a runny, clear serum, designed to help reduce the appearance of blemishes and scars. Slightly sticky, and scented but the smell fades with application. I used this under a moisturiser and it left my skin super soft come morning.
I've tried a sample of this moisturiser before, and if it wasn't so expensive would definitely have purchased. I'm not usually a fan of citrus scents, but the effects of using this are worth smelling like an orange for! It does have quite a sticky texture, but is one of the best moisturisers I've ever used, and noticeably brightens your skin.
A thick, strongly scented moisturiser, I only got two used out of this as it doesn't spread particularly well. Definitely a moisturiser for evening use as it doesn't really sink in. It did leave my skin feeling lovely and soft though.
I've actually really enjoy the experience of using my samples, and will definitely be making more use of my (still) excessive collection, and any future additions. It's been interesting to try out new things, as I do tend to stick to my favourites. I've definitely discovered a few new favourites, and will be purchasing full-size versions of a number of the products I tried this week. For one, I'll never apply foundation without a primer again.
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