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Skincare and Beauty Products I Tried In January

This is only half, dude.

Receiving vouchers for Christmas and setting a goal of using up my sample products resulting in me trying quite a few products this past month. Here's my feedback on everything I tried and whether I'd repurchase it or, in the case of samples, buy the full size.


Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil (sample):

I really didn't get on well with this product. It was way too thick for my liking and left most of my makeup on my face. I always double cleanse at night, and used this in place of my normal Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm. I had to go in with micellar water before doing my normal second cleanse, which was annoying. It doesn't hold up against Clinique's Cleansing Balm in the slightest and I would definitely never purchase it.

Kate Somerville Cold Cream Moisturising Cleanser + Makeup Remover (sample):

I quite liked this product, and would definitely go for a second sample of it. Would I buy a whole jar of it? I'm not sure. I think I prefer other products to it, and those products happen to be delightfully cheaper.

Ren Centifolia Cleansing Gel (sample):

This product was just a bit 'meh'. It's not bad, but I just didn't feel like it did much. Which can actually be a good thing in a gel cleanser, but I feel like I'd need to try it a bit longer to make sure it's actually doing the job. Would I buy it? At $33, I'd probably give it a go.

Go-To Properly Clean:

I'm a big fan of Go-To Skincare (which is launching in Mecca in April which is AMAZING). This cleanser does the job, but I'm not sure it's attained holy-grail status just yet. It didn't do much for my usual (delightful) hormonal breakout while I was on my period but it did clear up awfully fast afterwards. I've always avoided foaming cleansers because of the ingredients used in them, and I'm not sure if my skin feels squeaky clean or stripped of all oils after I use this. The jury's still out.


Go-To Exfoliating Swipeys:

Yes, this category is rather small. But making the change from physical to chemical exfoliators has made a huge difference to my skin. My skin is so smooth after I use these wipes. Though, I will say that as this is a very gentle chemical exfoliant that you only leave on for a minute, I do feel like the texture of my skin is back to average after two days. I plan on looking into other chemical exfoliants at some point, so I'll keep you updated.


Edible Beauty Sleeping Beauty Purifying Mousse (sample):

I thoroughly enjoyed this mask and I've added it to my Sephora wish list. There was enough in the sample I received to use it twice, and my skin was delightfully hydrated the mornings after I applied it. I plan on purchasing the full size soon.

Aesop Blue Chamomile Facial Hydrating Masque (sample):

I really don't enjoy the smell of this product. Which is an issue I find with a few of Aesop's products. That being said, I think this did an adequate job of hydrating my skin. I tend to prefer a cream hydrating mask over a gel one, however, so I probably wouldn't purchase the full-size.

Aesop Chamomile Facial Anti-Blemish Masque (sample):

Again, this scent isn't my favourite. It's a little less potent than the hydrating masque, though. I'm on the lookout for a good clay mask at the moment, because so many have rubbish ingredients. I like that this has a thinner consistency than other clay masks, but I absolutely break out after I use it. That's a general side effect of clay masks, though. I feel like I'd have to try more than two samples of this product to know how well it works on my skin, but I'm not rushing out to purchase the full size.

Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask (sample):

I know this is a trendy product right now, but I'm not that in love with it. I saw some skincare accounts saying they liked using it as a moisturiser or overnight mask and I too prefer using it that way. When it comes to using it as a 10-20 minute mask, I think there are cheaper alternatives that are just as good. I really like the Frank Body Glow Mask and that will set you back $21.95 in comparison to $70. That being said, I would consider treating myself to this mask, but I'd probably use it as an overnight mask because using that much expensive product just to wipe it off just doesn't work for me.

Patchology The Good Fight Sheet Mask:

I loved this mask so much I repurchased it a few days after I used it. I think this is definitely now on my list of favourite masks. I have the Just Let It Glow and Get Dewy With It mask in my collection waiting for me to try them, and I have high hopes. At just $7 (one dollar more than Sephora Collection's face masks) I will definitely keep repurchasing this mask.

Karuna Clarifying Face Mask:

I didn't love this mask. I didn't see much difference in my skin, in fact I think it might have broken me out. Which is kind of standard in cleansing face masks for me but I prefer it when that doesn't happen. Considering all the good face masks out there, I wouldn't buy this mask again.

Go-To Transformazing:

I purchased a few of these last year, but had neglected to try them because I was saving them for special occasions. Which meant they were probably going to sit in my bathroom forever. I'm so glad I actually got around to using them because these are truly amazing. I've never seen such an obvious difference in my skin after using a face mask. I love them to the point where I'm considering buying the box of six. The only reason I haven't is because these masks are designed to prep your skin for makeup and I'm largely a homebody who always forgets to put on face masks in the morning. So, while these will be my go-to (ha) for any university balls I go to this year or other full-glam events, I'm not sure I'd use them enough to justify buying a large amount of them at once. Throwing one into my cart anytime I buy something else from Go-To, though? Absolutely.


The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% Zinc 1%:

I truly love this product. I think it's made a huge difference in my skin and will most likely repurchase it. With ingredients like niacinamide, I've found I prefer using a serum like this than spending serious cash on another product (like a mask) that contains it amongst an array of others. I'm considering buying the hyaluronic acid serum from The Ordinary now too, because I'd rather use it in combination with a good occlusive moisturiser than a slightly less nourishing moisturiser with HA in it. My one qualm with this brand is that I feel they don't fully explain their products and the ingredients in them. While I spend my free time researching skin care and understand their products, a random teenager walking into Priceline might not have the same knowledge. I worry that same teenager could misuse their products because of this.


Drunk Elephant Whipped Cream Moisturiser (sample):

I know this a cult product, but I didn't find it that life-changing. Yeah, it's good and yeah, I quite liked it. It's a decent product. But it's $88 dollars and I'd rather buy a cheaper product first. I didn't find it's ingredients list terribly outstanding, either (though not bad by any means). I've just ordered the Frank Body Creamy Moisturiser and I plan on trying the Go-To Very Useful Face Cream after that. I might give this another go when I'm dealing with a colder climate at the end of the year, because I know people say it's great for that.

Kiehls Creamy Eye Treatment:

I really really love this product. I love how soothing and nourishing it feels, how such little product goes such a long way, and I'm definitely going to repurchase it when I eventually run out. I will say, though, that I find it leaves a little bit of a white cast on my skin if I don't spend the proper time tapping it in.

Lip Balm:

Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Kiss Lip Balm:

I'm addicted to the scent of this balm. I love that it feels thin on the lips but still provides nourishment, and I'd definitely repurchase it.

Lanolips Rose Gold:

I was a little disappointed with this, I'll admit. It's a little too thick to use on the cheeks in my opinion, and I find way too much product comes out of the tube than you need. I'd still consider trying another of their products, though. It was pretty delightful on the lips.

Fresh Sugar in Berry:

I love this and want all the colours. Enough said. But I'll keep talking. This leaves such a nice stain on the lips and has that glorious SPF protection too. I find it very nourishing too. I'm genuinely probably going to purchase many more colours.

Go-To Lips!

Ugh, do my lips feel damn delightful after this. I use this as part of my AM and PM skincare routine, but I'm considering buying the tinted one to throw in my bag for nighttime use (gotta have that SPF during the day). If Go-To came out with a berry tinted one I'd lose my mind. I also love that this can double as a cuticle moisturiser if your hand cream has gone astray (I did not realise how nice it was to have cared-for cuticles). The ingredients list is incredible, and I like that it contains lanolin without being ridiculously thick.

Blemish Treatment:

Aesop Control:

I used to be obsessed with Mario Badescu buffering lotion and drying lotion until one day they both just kind of stopped working on my skin. Ignoring the fact that drying lotions are ridiculously overpriced considering you can make them yourself for much less, this product works way better on my skin. When I picked it up in-store, I was shocked by the ingredients list combined with a relatively cheap price-tag. I'm in love, so in love. Can I buy a bigger tube?

Mecca Max Spot Dots:

The first time I used this I didn't really think this did anything, but I didn't apply it to particularly aggressive pimples. The second time I used it it definitely did more (I could genuinely see this after I'd taken it off-gross but satisfying). I like the idea of being able to cover and protect a pimple while you wear makeup throughout the day, but have yet to use this product this way. At $8, I'd consider repurchasing though I still have a decent amount left in the pack I bought. I'm at least finishing the pack.

Hand Balm:

Go-To Super Handy:

I never thought I'd be that girl raving about hand balm, but I'm seriously never living my life without it again. This was the first hand balm I tried and it's still my ultimate favourite. I'm getting low on it and I'm definitely planning on repurchasing it.

Aesop Resurrection Hand Balm:

I bought this one thinking of it as a luxury product. In hindsight, it's 15ml more product that the Go-To one for $10 more at $31. So it's not the most ridiculously priced thing I've ever bought. That being said, I do prefer Go-To Super Handy. I still love this though and would most likely repurchase it.


IGK Swipe Up No-Frizz Smoothing Wipes:

I have a constant battle with my hair and it's desire to be a frizzy mess. I've found these wipes quite helpful in taming that frizz, however as someone with lots of fine hair that gets weighed down easily I use these very sparingly and try to limit it to once per wash cycle. I'd definitely consider repurchasing them, because they do a good job of smoothing down my hair.

Klorane Dry Shampoo:

I love this, love it so much. I'd heard multiple people raving about this before deciding to try it myself and, truly, no other dry shampoo compares for me. It gives great texture without causing a lot of build up on your scalp (which I find is an issue for other brands). I'm definitely repurchasing this when I run out.

Klorane Shampoo + Conditioner with flax fiber:

I've tried so many shampoo and conditioner sets promising to give me glorious volume that have been absolute flops. These guys, though, they have my back. I think part of the issue with other products is that they still contain things like silicone which absolutely weigh down my hair. On the flip side, without those ingredients my hair can feel a little stripped and dry after I use so I tend to use it every second wash and use a nourishing set in between (I'm currently using OGX Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and conditioner, which I love).


Caolion Sebum Control Stick:

This product has changed my life for the better and I adore it. Before this, I'd just apply powder to spots I knew I'd get oily and it would create a gross cakey effect later on in the day that was truly horrible. When I apply this I use way less powder (which I love because I'm just after that glow y'know) and the finish of my makeup looks way better for a much longer period of time. This feels really cooling on the skin, too, and I like that I can apply it with my finger over makeup if need be. I really want to try more sebum-controlling products (looking at you, Innisfree sebum control powder) but I think this will definitely be a product I repurchase.

Too Faced Born This Way Concealer (sample):

I really didn't enjoy this product. I found it wasn't thick enough to fully cover blemishes, and I honestly mistook it for a too-thick foundation at first in its sample packaging. It has to be said that I'm definitely not the kind of person to wear heavy makeup on the regular, so I'm really just not the consumer they're targeting. There were two shades in this sample that I can use, so I might give this one another go and use the lighter one just under my eyes and see how I like that.

Beauty Blender (sample):

Okay, I apply pretty much all my makeup with my fingers. So again, not the consumer they're targeting. But this was so bad! It wasn't the rounded beauty blender I see everywhere, but a tear-shaped flat sponge. So it kind of just looked like someone had cut up a kitchen sponge. I think part of the problem was the packaging. There was a sachet of mineral water that you were meant to put so that it soaked the sponge, but think there was way too much water. I might give this sponge another go after wringing it out more, but I'm fairly certain I'll always be the girl putting on her tinted moisturiser with her fingers. If I were to buy a sponge, it'd most likely be a Real Techniques one, anyway.

Mecca Max Setting Spray:

I'm not too fussy when it comes to setting sprays. I don't wear particularly heavy makeup so I feel like I can't really tell if they're working. But as far as I can tell, this setting spray does the job and does it for a decent price so it's a thumbs up from me. That being said, I have my eye on another to try that's only a few dollars more expensive.

Mecca Max Illuminating Primer:

I love illuminating primers. Before them, I had to apply my primer and illuminator separately. My life is better now. This product does the job well at a decent price point, so has my heart.

Mecca Max First Base Primer with SPF:

Okay So I purchased this primer before realising it's a chemical sunscreen formula. So I didn't actually try it because I don't feel like developing a rash all over my face. I'll most likely give it away to a friend after warning them profusely of it's hormone-mucking-up abilities. Mecca, please, do the physical sunscreen thing.

Stila Convertible Colour in Magnolia:

I love this formula, and I love using this product on my cheeks and eyelids but I can't get behind the colour on my lips. Another shade though, absolutely. This is absolutely a good-quality cream blush that I'm glad I added to my collection, but I didn't find it particularly life-changing.

And that's a wrap on January! Here's to finding my moisturiser soulmate in February.

xo Dominique


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