REVIEW | Posh VoxBox

I was fortunate enough to receive the generous Posh VoxBox from Influenster a couple of weeks ago, and thought it’d be great to include reviews of those products here.

For those of you who don’t know what Influenster is, it’s an online/app community where you can post reviews or read other people’s reviews, and receive free products in VoxBoxes to test based on social media influence and completion of certain campaigns available to participate in on the site. Influenster predominantly features beauty products, but there are also food, health, pet products, and more. It’s easy to sign up, too – just link your social media accounts, answer some snaps to determine your interests, and you’re ready to go. If you’re interested, check it out here (x).

And without further ado, let’s get onto the product reviews:

  1. AQUIS Lisse Luxe Hair Turban ($30): I LOVE this. I have a lot of hair, and it always feels like such a hassle to deal with the mop my hair becomes after I wash it. I don’t like wrapping it with my body towel, because it’s too heavy on my head, but the smaller sized towels I have don’t fit all of my hair. This is perfect, because its design allows me to wrap all my hair up and have it comfortably sit on top of my head. Honestly though, seeing the price tag for this made me do a double take – it’s a pretty hefty price for a hair towel. I did a quick search and found similar products across the internet, for a fraction of the price, like this one from Walmart for $4.98. If anyone’s tried any affordable hair towels before, let me know how it went!
  2. Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Defrizzing Shampoo (8.5 fl oz, $22) and Conditioner (8.5 fl oz, $24): This is a great line of hair products, from what I can see from these two. The shampoo cleans my hair without stripping it of moisture, and the conditioner leaves my hair feeling soft. These products also do what they say, keeping hair defrizzed, and while my hair isn’t curly, I can visibly see more wave definition in my hair after I use them. The product is also sulfate free and has a light, pleasant scent. The only complaint I have is that the bottles are hard to squeeze – hopefully, this is only an issue with the sample bottles.
  3. LASHFOOD BROWFOOD Aqua Brow Powder + Pencil Duo (powder 0.04 oz, pencil 0.01 oz, $25): This is a great brow product. I don’t usually use brow powders or brow pencils because I don’t like doing too much to my brows, but this product definitely changed my mind. The pencil applied smoothly and had great pigmentation, and I’d definitely say it’s the winner out of the two parts of this product. The powder is great too and applies well to the brows, but has a little too much kick up of powder and can become a bit messy. I plan on passing this on to my sister, who will love it and get much more use out of it.
  4. Julep Boost Your Radiance Reparative Rosehip Seed Facial Oil (0.85 fl oz, $36): Despite all the hype and benefits facial oils seem to have, I’ve never been a fan due to bad experiences with a few that left my skin greasy yet not very moisturized. I had been prepared to pass on this because I broke out the first 2 days I used it, but I decided to give it another chance, and have continued to use it for the past 2 weeks, both night and day, as part of my daily skincare routine. I’m glad I did, because this is great. It gives me a great amount of moisture without leaving my skin feeling greasy at all, and it feels more like a serum than an oil. Next, I want to try mixing it in with my foundation and see how that goes.
  5. Dermalogica Stress Positive Eye Lift (0.85 fl oz, $65): This is an amazing product. The directions say you can use it either as an occasional treatment or daily to treat chronic eye fatigue, and I use it daily in the morning because I have fatigued looking eyes, dark circles, and puffiness. I’ve been using it for two weeks, and it’s been great. The applicator helps with cooling and depuffing, and the formula is light and absorbs well into the skin. I can’t say yet whether using this product has visibly decreased the fatigue or diminished my dark circles, but it definitely feels like it has. I’m going to continue using this and see whether it’ll do so in the future, but regardless, I definitely recommend this for anyone with puffiness, fatigue, or dark circles.
  6. Sigma Beauty Aura Powder in Nymphaea (0.3 oz, $19): This is a very pretty blush. You can’t really tell from the picture I have here, but the blush is actually very pink, despite it saying on the site that it’s a coral shade. Pink isn’t a blush color I usually reach for, so I was a bit disappointed to see it in the pan when I first opened it. But this shade was surprisingly flattering on me, and gave me a nice, healthy flush perfect for the summer. I need to build it up for it to show on my face, but I’m not sure whether it’s due to a lack of pigmentation or due to my skin tone being too dark for this blush. Overall, it’s a decent product, but probably not something I’ll reach for constantly.
  7. Sigma Beauty F40 Large Angled Contour Brush ($23): This isn’t the usual type of brush I use for blush, but it worked surprisingly well with the Sigma blush. Rather than circular motions, I swiped the product from the apple of my cheek back towards my hair line, and it applied the blush pretty evenly. On the other hand, this brush fails as a contour/bronzer brush. The brush hairs are way too long to get a nice chiseled look with contour and way too flimsy for precise application of bronzer. Overall, the brush is very well made and has definitely piqued my interested in Sigma brushes.

Overall, the value of this Posh VoxBox is $211.54 (price of sample size Ouidad shampoo and conditioner calculated from full size prices), which is amazing, and one of the reasons I will continue to be an Influenster user. You don’t need to be a famous influencer to try awesome products for free 🙂 (This isn’t sponsored. I just think Influenster is great.)

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SKINCARE ROUTINE | 2017

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve come to fully embrace the lazy girl attitude that was always in me, and my updated skincare routine reflects that. Looking back at my routine from last year was a bit shocking – I’d forgotten how extensive the routine I followed was. My skin has become less oily and less acne prone, so that helps with simplification of my routine as well. I’ve been following iterations of my current one for a while now, and it’s definitely more pared down than before. For one thing, my AM and PM routines are almost the same.

Daily Steps:

  1. Wash face: Fresh’s Soy Face Cleanser (1.7 fl oz, $15) in the AM, and Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Gel Cleanser (8.4 fl oz, $21), which is still a holy grail face wash to me, in the PM. The Fresh face wash is great – it’s very gentle but still makes my face feel clean. I wouldn’t repurchase it, however, since it’s too pricey in my eyes.
  2. Tone: Pixi’s Glow Tonic (3.4 fl oz, $15) in the AM, and Paula’s Choice 2% Salicylic Acid BHA Liquid Exfoliant (4 fl oz, $28) in the PM. I quite like the Glow Tonic and will probably repurchase it, but will probably not be repurchasing the Paula’s Choice because I think my skin doesn’t really need it anymore. It’s done me much good, but it’s time to part ways.
  3. Apply serum/facial oil: I alternate between Caudalie’s Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum (1 fl oz, $49) and Julep’s Reparative Rosehip Seed Facial Oil (0.85 fl oz, $36), and for both morning and night. The Caudalie is very light and absorbs into the skin quickly. The Julep has changed my mind about facial oils. I never liked them because they always felt too oily, but this one doesn’t, and absorbs well into the skin. Both give a good boost of moisture. I love both of them, though I’m not sure I would repurchase either of them because they’re so pricey. I purchased the Caudalie when it was on sale, and I received the Julep as part of a complimentary Influenster VoxBox (look out for a review on that).
  4. Apply lotion: Currently using Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel (4.2 fl oz, $27), and used Tatcha’s Enriching Renewal Cream (1.86 fl oz, $185) in the drier winter months. The Clinique isn’t bad, but I don’t love it, so I probably won’t repurchase. It definitely has a good value for its price though, especially if you get the size with the pump (which I did). The Tatcha cream is amazing, but I can’t see myself purchasing this at full price (I had gotten it as part of the Byrdie Holiday Box, $80 for a $330 value and now sold out).
  5. Apply eye cream: Dermalogica’s Stress Positive Eye Lift (0.85 fl oz, $65) in the AM, Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye (0.5 fl oz, $37) in the PM. Both of these are awesome. I received the Dermalogica as part of the Influenster VoxBox, but I definitely think it’s worth the price, and will probably repurchase it if I don’t find another eye cream to try before I run out. It has a metal applicator that is so cooling on the skin, which is great for depuffing the eye area. The product claims to help with eye circles and eye fatigue, and while visibly I can’t see any changes after using it for two weeks, it does feel great every time I apply it. The Kiehl’s is great as well, and probably one of my top favorite eye creams. It is tremendously moisturizing, but doesn’t just sit on top of the skin at all.
  6. Apply sunscreen (in the AM): Honestly, I don’t apply this every day like I should… But when I do remember, I use Lancome’s UV Expert XL-Shield Fresh UV Aqua Gel (50 ml, $88 SGD or ~$63.99), which has SPF 50 PA++++. I’ve been using this a long time, and I do enjoy its extreme sun protection, lack of grease, and lack of a strong sunscreen scent, but it’s ridiculously expensive and hard to get. It’s only sold in Asia, and I’ve only been using it for so long because a family friend used to get it at the duty free stores in Asia. Occasionally I’ll bust out Peter Thomas Roth’s Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion (1.7 fl oz, $42), which is SPF 30. This one is oil-free, very light, and fast absorbing. The two cons for me are the sunscreen smell and the lower SPF.

Makeup Removal:

This is a separate section now because now I put on makeup maybe once a week. I actually went a whole month in June without any makeup too. The me of last year would be horrified…

  • Eyes: I put Garnier’s SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Cleanser & Waterproof Makeup Remover (13.5 fl oz, $8.99). I soak a cotton pad in this, place it on one eye, let it sit, and wipe off my makeup. I use the other side of the cotton pad for the other eye. This is an amazing eye makeup remover that really does what it says, isn’t too greasy, and, and best of all, it’s affordable. Please don’t get this at full price – there are always sales at the drugstore and Ulta.
  • Face: If I have on light makeup, I just use the Garnier on another cotton pad. If I have on a heavier face of makeup, I go in with Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser (6 fl oz, $18), massage it all over my face, into my eyelids too to remove any remaining excess eye makeup, and rinse. The Milky Jelly Cleanser does a great job of removing makeup while still being gentle and even moisturizing. I had started off ambivalent about this product, but as I used it more I’ve grown to really like it. I’ll definitely be including this in my makeup remover rotation.
  • Makeup remover wipes: I use these when I’m traveling or staying overnight somewhere. I have two that I alternate between – Burt’s Bee’s in Pink Grapefruit (30 count, $5.19) and Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Facial Wipes (25 count, $3.99), and I’m pretty happy with both. Like I mentioned with the Garnier, it’s really easy to get these for even cheaper with the frequent deals and sales at the drugstore.

Extras:

These are steps I do once or twice a week. Sometimes I’ll only do one of these during the week, sometimes I’ll end up doing all of them. It depends 🙂

  • Exfoliate: I’ve been using Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment (0.5 fl oz, $24). As the title says, it’s pretty intensive, but my skin always feels smooth after I use it. I had received this as a sample with purchase, but I don’t think I like it enough to shell out that much money myself.
  • Apply a sheet mask: I tend to go for the cheaper ones, since I don’t feel like more expensive sheet masks do much better. My go-to’s are the TONYMOLY I’m Real Mask Sheets ($3 per sheet on Amazon), which you can always find for cheaper (I’ve found them at Marshall’s for $1.50 before) or on sale.
  • Apply a wash off mask: I’ve still been using Origins’ Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay (3.4 fl oz, $27), and my friends also gifted me Josie Maran’s Whipped Mud Mask Collection (5 x 0.5 fl oz, $48) for my birthday last year, which I’ve been slowly going through and love. Honestly, I don’t really feel the difference between each mask, but they all have pleasant scents and make my skin feel amazing.

 

So, that’s my updated skincare routine, with some extras thrown in. If you’re interested in the drastic differences between my current routine and last year’s, I’ll provide a link here (x)

BIRCHBOX | JUNE 2016

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Even more belated than last month, as it’s already nearing the halfway point of July, but I still wanted to talk about the June box because it was pretty awesome.

No pictures for this month, as I moved and in the rush to move in before my new job started, I forgot to pack my camera. I’ve had some time to try each product this time though, so here’s what I got and mini-reviews for each product:

  1. Balance Me Congested Skin Serum (Full-size: 15 ml, $30): This serum felt really nice on my skin, but the scent is so overbearing (and chemical) that I don’t think I’d ever incorporate it long-term into my skincare routine.  I have other products that do similar things already that have more tolerable or better scents.
  2. Benefit Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel – 5 Deep (Full-size: 0.1 oz, $24):  I have pretty thick brows naturally, so I don’t really need to do much with them. Still, sometimes I feel like some parts of my brows are a little too sparse, and this product does a great job of remedying that. The sample was really well-sized this month, and I’m excited to try out the new packaging.
  3. Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator – Gilded Honey (Full-size: 0.16 oz, $26): I’ve been meaning to try this product for the longest time because so many beauty Youtubers rave about it. After getting the sample and trying it for myself, I can see why. The consistency of the highlighter is amazing, and it applies so beautifully onto my skin. I’m definitely purchasing this full-size in the future.
  4. Lavanila The Healthy Sunscreen Sport Luxe Face & Body Cream SPF 30 (Full-size: 2.5 oz, $22): It’s always hard to review a sunscreen and say whether or not it helped with sun protection. Sun protection aside though, I really did not enjoy this product. The consistency was a little off to me, and there was a pink cast (almost like a tinted moisturizer, but just pink) when I put it on my skin. I lent it to my friend to use as well when we were outdoors, and she had the same issue. Definitely would not purchase this myself, especially when there are sunscreens out there with better consistency, higher SPF, and no pink cast.
  5. Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow (Full-size: $1.6 oz, 28): I’m always happy to receive a glowy product, and this product definitely deserves its name. My face looked dewy upon application, and it was very lightweight yet gave me decent (lightweight-medium) coverage. The shade of this also matches my skintone really well.

 

Final verdict: Despite my disappoint with the sunscreen, everything else was so good that I was still very happy with the box.

BIRCHBOX | MAY 2016

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Belated post since it’s already June, but to be fair, I didn’t get my box until last week. Despite the late arrival of the box, I have to say this is my favorite thus far.

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With every box, you have three options: (1) let everything be a surprise, (2) choose one product yourself, and let the rest of the box be a surprise, or (3) choose a box with pre-selected products. This month, I chose to customize my SPF option, and I wasn’t disappointed with that or the rest of the box.

  1. Raw Spirit Fragrances Citadelle Eau de Parfum Rollerball (Full-size: 7.5 ml, $40.00): This is the only product this month that I was really meh about. I don’t have anything bad to say about the fragrance itself. However, I’m not amazed by it, and I have similar but better smelling ones in my collection already. It’s definitely not worth the hefty $40 for just a rollerball. Also, the sample packaging is very poor – it’s neither a spray or a rollerball, and every time I open the cap I feel like I’m going to spill it everywhere.
  2. Davines OI All in One Milk (Full-size: 135 ml, $30.00): Loved this. After using this, my hair was soft and in nice, loose waves comparable to those that I get when I use bumble and bumble’s Don’t Blow It (5 oz, $31.00). I’m definitely considering purchasing a full-size when I’m out of this generously sized sample.
  3. Davine’s OI Shampoo (Full-size: 280 ml, $28.00) and Conditioner (Full-size: 250 ml, $34.00):  Great shampoo and conditioner. They both smell amazing, and my hair feels clean and soft after use. The samples were really small (one-time use packets), but I can’t complain because they were bonus samples. I probably won’t ever purchase either though, because I have drugstore shampoos that do a good job on my hair already.
  4. Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner (Full-size: 0.07 oz, $18.00): This was amazing. Honestly, when I first opened it up, I thought it was going to be horrible because the tip didn’t look very thin at all. However, upon using it, I realized that wasn’t the case. It was really easy to control and draw really nice, even wings. The black is also very dark and didn’t fade throughout the day. No smudging either. I’d definitely purchase this in the future.
  5. Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel – Body (Full-size: 5.4 oz, $34.00): I’ve only used this twice, and I’m already planning to purchase a full-size. I used it on my legs before a shave, and it definitely made a difference in the end result. My legs were much smoother and didn’t have as many ingrown hairs. Keep in mind though that for this product to work properly, your skin can’t be too wet.
  6. COOLA Classic Face Sport SPF 50 White Tea (Full-size: 1.7 oz, $32.00): Considering the size of the sample’s packaging, I was expecting to get more product, so that was quite disappointing. Otherwise, it’s a great product. It’s hard to measure whether it really protected my skin from the sun, but it’s lightweight, doesn’t make my skin greasy or aggravate it, and doesn’t smell like sunscreen. It’s definitely a good SPF product for people who spend a lot of time outdoors.

 

Final verdict: My favorite box so far. 😀 The only product I disliked was the fragrance, but those are always hit-or-miss. I’m looking forward to next month’s box.

REVIEW | NARS Laguna & Hot Sand Duo

As soon as I saw Kathleenlights on Youtube talk about this in her March favorites, I knew I had to get it. And I’m glad I did – it’s become one of my favorite face products ever.

This bronzer/highlighter duo is sold exclusively at Nordstrom and is limited edition, so get it while it’s still there!

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The product comes in the typical NARS compact, so the packaging is already on point. There’s also a decent amount of product. The only issue I have is the pan size is a little too small, especially for the bronzer. But I can’t really complain, since I bought this knowing that the pans would be smaller as a duo.

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The pigmentation is amazing, but the Laguna bronzer was lighter than I thought it would be. Here, it barely shows up on my medium skin tone, but on my face, it’s just enough for a subtle contour. It’s the perfect balance of warm and cool undertones, so it works for me as a natural bronzer/contour shade. If your skin is any darker than mine though, I don’t this bronzer will work for you.

Hot Sand is amazing. The moment I applied it to my face, it became my new favorite highlight. There’s a peachy undertone, which makes it slightly more pink than the usual gold highlight, but still gives a warm glow to the face. A little goes a long way – I use a fan brush to apply this so I don’t accidentally get too heavy-handed. From what I’ve seen, this highlight is only sold in powder form in this duo, or the Hot Sand/Orgasm duo, also a Nordstrom exclusive. It is, however, sold as a liquid illuminator at various locations. I’m definitely planning on picking that up in the future.

Final verdict: 5/5 stars. Out of the two products, Hot Sand is definitely the winner for me. However, I really do enjoy both of these, and I’ve used them almost every day since I purchased them.

 

BIRCHBOX | APRIL 2016

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Thank goodness. This month’s Birchbox was a far cry from last month’s.

The box itself was beautiful. I’m a big fan of Rifle Paper Co., so just the box itself already made me excited for this month’s goodies. The April Birchbox was a collaboration with Rifle Paper Co., and the first thing I see when I open the box is a 20% off coupon for Rifle Paper Co. Otherwise, there were 5 items in this month’s box:

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  1. Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle (Full-size: 8 oz, $23.50): I’ve actually tried this before when I bought one of the special haircare boxes from Birchbox. I was ambivalent about it then, and I still am. I have extremely long, thick, and coarse hair, so while I do see a difference when I use it, it’s not life-changing. And I’m not the biggest fan of the scent; it smells strongly of cotton candy, and by second day hair, it always makes my hair smell dirtier than it is. I’ll always use it if I receive a sample, but I’d never purchase this on my own.
  2. Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm – Sweet Violet (Full-size, $7): I’ve always been a fan of Burt’s Bees lip balms, so I was happy to get this. I’ve never tried their tinted lip balms before, but I have to say, there’s not much tint. I see the faintest color when I apply it on my lips, but you really have to squint to see it. There was no color when I swatched it on my hand either. It’s a lovely lip balm though, and it does smell amazing – kind of like Starburst.
  3. rms beauty the ultimate makeup remover wipes (Full-size: 20 wipes, $16): I was excited to try these, but I wasn’t really a fan. First of all, I hate coconut and most anything that has coconut or any of its derivatives. Second, because the wipes were oil-based, they were a lot messier than other wipes I’ve used. They also didn’t do the best job of removing my makeup. I think the YesTo Cucumbers Hypoallergenic Facial Wipes (30 wipes, $5.99) or a lot of the Burt’s Bees wipes (my favorite are the Pink Grapefruit, 30 wipes for $5.09) are a lot better – and they’re a fraction of the price.
  4. Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator (Full-size: 4.23 oz, $34): This is a pretty good exfoliator. I just finished my Origins exfoliator that I mentioned in my nighttime skincare routine, so receiving this in my Birchbox was perfect timing. The first time I used it, my face was being extra sensitive, and I felt like sand on my face. Needless to say, I was not excited to try it again. I felt like it deserved another chance though, considering the circumstances, and I’m glad I did. It’s slightly more abrasive to me than the Origins Nature’s Gentle Dermabrasion, but it works just fine when my skin isn’t acting up. From my first experience with this, I’d say to pass on this if you have extremely sensitive skin. And another issue I’d say is the scent. It smells like dish soap, but it’s faint enough that I can ignore it.
  5. W3LL PEOPLE Expressionist Mascara (Full-size: 0.23 oz, $23.50): This. Is. Amazing. It’s probably one of the best mascaras I’ve ever tried. It’s an all-natural mascara, with a synthetic, football-shaped wand, and is definitely a lengthening – but not volumizing – mascara. At first swipe, I wasn’t that impressed, but by the time I finished applying it, my lashes looked pretty amazing. It’s definitely not the mascara for you if you like lots of lash drama, but it’s awesome for natural ‘no-makeup’ days.

Final verdict: Pretty satisfied. I still had one disappointing product and one so-so product, but I’m going to get use out of all everything. I hope May’s box will be as good as, if not better than, this month’s.

BIRCHBOX | MARCH 2016

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After mulling over whether or not to get a beauty subscription box for way too long, I finally decided to bite the bullet and get one.

Out of all the beauty subscriptions available, Birchbox seemed like the best choice for me. I already use Birchbox to make beauty purchases, and the subscription boxes come with a great perk: for every sample you receive in the monthly box (you get 5 samples, sometimes a bonus), you get 10 Birchbox points. That’s up to 50 (60 with a bonus) points per box, which amounts to $5 (or $6) worth to spend on more goodies on the Birchbox site. Pretty awesome, yeah?

I subscribed pretty late into the month, so I didn’t get the March box until just last week. Opening my mailbox to find it sitting there was like experiencing Christmas in March. The box itself was beautiful; I’m definitely keeping it to store whatever trinkets I have lying around.

This month’s box contained 6 items:

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See next picture for #3.
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I used #3 before I wrote this review, so here’s a photo from the product’s page on Birchbox of what the mask looks like.
  1. Beautiful Nutrition Healthy Hair Diet Shampoo (Full-size: 13.9 fl oz, $16) The shampoo sample was very generous, around the same size as the typical travel-size shampoo. Unfortunately, this product was a miss for me. It claims to revitalize dry or damaged hair, but my hair didn’t feel nourished at all. And usually, one shampoo can last me at the very least 2 days before my hair starts to get gross, but by the afternoon the next day, my hair was already limp and starting to look really grimy – not a good look. The scent wasn’t pleasant either – it smelled like a manufactured citrus scent.
  2. Beautiful Nutrition Healthy Hair Diet Conditioner (Full-size: 13.9 fl oz, $16) The conditioner sample was the same size as the shampoo, and, like the shampoo, was a big miss for me. It’s supposed to revitalize dry, damaged or stressed hair, but it had no effect whatsoever on my hair. I could’ve skipped this conditioner completely and had the same result. The scent was the same as the shampoo.
  3. Benefit Cosmetics POREfessional Instant Wipeout Pore Cleaning Mask (Full-size: 8 masks, $32) The product comes in a little packet; you’re supposed to pop this button on the packet, which releases the serum into the mask, and then put the mask on your problem area for 10 minutes. I was pretty excited for this product, because although my skin has improved a lot over the last couple of years, my pores are still an issue. I’m not sure whether the product really cleaned my pores, but I definitely didn’t see any minimizing action going on. I was also too focused on the feeling that my face was getting burned off. To make things worse, my nose area, where I used the mask, stayed irritated and red for the rest of the night.
  4. Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional: Matte Rescue Invisible Finish Mattifying Gel (Full-size: 1.6 fl oz, $28) The name of the product makes its purpose pretty self-explantory – it’s a mattifying primer. The sample comes in a one-time use packet, but I always find that I can get at least 2 uses out of these samples. I have to say that I prefer the original POREfessional; it’s a decent primer, but it didn’t really do any mattifying for me.
  5. Cargo Land Down Under Eye Shadow Palette (Full-size: 12 shades, $34) The full-size palette comes in a variety of nudes, with some blues and greens as pops of color. The sample is a nude eyeshadow duo in brown and a cool-toned beige, both matte finishes. This duo actually contains more product per shade than the palette; each shade in the palette is 0.03 oz, while in this duo, both shades are 0.05 oz. I’ve never used Cargo eyeshadows before, and I was pleasantly surprised at how nice they were. They have good pigmentation and blend really well. The only con would be that there is a ridiculous amount of fallout, if that’s something that’s a deal breaker for you. This was most definitely my favorite sample in this box.

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    The brown swatched patchily on my arm, but I had no issue when I used it on my eyelids.
  6. Clarisonic Sonic Radiance AM Skin Illuminating Cleanser (Full-size: 3.4 fl oz, $25) The sample is pretty small (0.14 oz), but you can probably get a week’s worth of AM cleanses in with the amount. As I already use face cleansers I find very effective for me, this was the least exciting sample for me. This one claims to brighten dark spots, even skin tone, and transform dull skin, but as of now, I have yet to see any of these effects. It’s a decent cleanser, very gentle and thus good for sensitive skin. It’s supposed to be used in conjunction with the Clarisonic cleansing brush for the best results. The Clarisonic brush has been too abrasive for my skin, which has been extra sensitive lately, so I haven’t tried that yet.

Final verdict: Pretty disappointing. I only truly enjoyed one of my samples, and 3 of the 6 were complete disappointments. I’m getting the April box next week, so hopefully that one will be better…