Sample Sunday!

It’s that time of the week to try out some samples and give you guys some feedback! This week I tried a more deluxe sized sample, so I was able to give it a few tries through the week to get some better insight.

The most successful sample verdict I’ve ever had:
Address: Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Clarifying Colloidal Sulfur Mask

Original Price: $51.00

How I got sample: A Sephora employee packed me a deluxe sample to try.
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Assess: I went into Sephora a couple of weeks ago with the sole intention of looking for a product for the under-the-skin bumps on my forehead. The sales representative suggested two things: the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads, and the Dr. Dennis Gross Clarifying Sulfur Mask. Due to both it’s hefty price and that I wanted something more on the regular, I opted for the First Aid Beauty pads only, and she told me to test out the mask and see if it helped.

Well, after using the pads for a little over two weeks, I noticed the bumps were finally coming to the surface — aka I had full blown acne. Soooo I figured I’d test out the mask! Putting it on before bed, I used it more as a spot treatment and put it on on the troubled areas.

I could not BELIEVE what a difference it made! The pimples had gone down significantly. So I tried it again the next night…and the next night (last night). They are still there, but almost gone. The great thing is, since I am using it more as a spot treatment the sample she gave me will last me forever!!

Will I purchase I full-size of this sample?
Absolutely. This is the first thing that I have noticed making a dramatic difference for the issue I need — and you need so very little product at a time, it seriously last forever. Next time I am in Sephora, I will own this awesome product!

UPDATE: First Aid Beauty’s Natural Radiance

ADDRESS: First Aid Beauty’s Natural Radiance
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Recently made a visit to a Sephora, where I was recommended First Aid Beauty’s Natural Radiance Pads for every day use. Ever since I stopped using birth control I cannot seem to get rid of the under the skin bumps on my forehead and they drive me insane! I was told that these pads reach 6 layers down, and if anything has a chance at getting them, its this.

ASSESS: Having dry/sensitive skin basically all my life I was worried about the lactic and glycolic acids as well as the use of lemon being harsh for my skin, but was told this is actually made for those with sensitivity and having used over two weeks worth of pads, I can see that is the case.  I use this every night in replacement of a toner and have no irritation, and it doesn’t dry me out.

While I do think the bumps have decreased….they are still there. I work in a setting that has harsh lighting so I can really see it at work more so than at home. As mentioned, I am only halfway through the pack so we will see if they further decrease in two weeks.

I love how gentle the pads are, and after wiping down my entire face they are still completely damp and have a lot of product left. They really do get any leftover makeup, leaving my face feeling really clean without being stripped.

What I am most impressed with so far is really the “radiance” of my skin. I really feel my skin looks more vibrant after using this.

So verdict halfway through: enjoying the product for reasons I didn’t expect (brighter, clearer skin) but still holding onto hope it will help with what I got it for in the first place (under the skin bumps on forehead).

Choose-Day Tuesday: Clinique vs. Clean & Clear

Today’s battle is between two brands that come first to mind for people around the world for skin care. Both Clinique and Clean&Clear are highly respected for their face washes, face creams, and treatments — whether it be for oily, dry or sensitive skin, both brands have got you covered!

But which brand has got me covered better for covering — and eliminating — acne? After testing out both Clinique and Clean&Clear acne spot treatments, it’s time to address, assess, and name a champ!

First up is the treatment that conquers and DESTROYS the task at hand. It is….

Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel
$19.00
0.5 oz.
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After reading many reviews online, this seemed like the overwhemlingly popular solution to my acne spot treatment need. Still, when I went into Sephora I asked the skin specialist as if I had no previous knowledge, and still was immediately directed towards this product. For the majority of my life, I have had no issue with acne other than a blemish once in a blue moon, that always went away within a couple of days. After coming off birth control, I have been receiving some pesky pimples that simply would not go away no matter what I tried, and while I feel $20 for a tiny little bottle is pretty steep, I was desperate.

At first I was worried about the salicylic acid, since I have naturally very dry skin. However, it is just that that causes the blemishes to disappear, as well as prevent new ones from forming. Yes, after continuously putting this on the same areas my skin was drying out, but with plenty of moisturizing it proved to be fine. No irritation otherwise. That is HUGE for me! When you first put on the clear gel, you can feel a burning sensation. This goes away within 5 minutes, and the skin feels tight in that area afterwards.

This product didn’t work as the skin specialist at Sephora promised, the disappearance of my acne within 24 hours, however within a week the pesky pimples were down to nearly nothing, and the smaller pimples gone.

Not as quick as it claims, but does (eventually) get the job done!!

Next up is a product who claims it can make its opponent VANISH into thin air. It is….

Clean&Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment
$10.99
22ml
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I found $10.99 a pretty steep price for a drugstore product, especially as small as this, but was hoping that was because it worked well. My sister has acne prone skin and has used various other Clean&Clear products over the years, so I figured I would give it a try. Claiming to show visible results within 4 hours for pimple redness, size and swelling, I was pretty excited to put this to the test.

This acne treatment also has salicyclic acid, but thankfully with vigorous moisturizing that was okay. What wasn’t okay was that it did absolutely nothing within 4 hours. No difference at all. Then, it says to apply this 3 times daily…if it was suppose to completely clear within 4 hours, wouldn’t I not have to use it daily, as well as three times within that same day? Hmmm…

What really irks me about this product is directly on the packaging it claims “100% of people showed clearer skin in just one day.” Uhhh excuse me?! How can they get away with claiming this? Because I am a person, and guess what? I did not show clearer skin in just one day. Or two days. Or three…and after a few days more, gave up on this product entirely.

VERDICT: I don’t think it is a surprise who not only won this battle, but beat their competitor by a long shot: I highly, highly recommend Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel. Sure, it is a bit more pricey, but I’d rather a product that truly works than pay $10.99 for something that does absolutely nothing for me.

Mini Sephora Haul

Just got back from visiting a friend in Ottawa for her birthday, and what do two girls love more to do during the day then shop?

Hardly anything.

I thought from my last haul I’d be content for a while on my makeup and skin care purchases, but feasting my eyes on all the gorgeousness that is Sephora — I was a kid in the candy store! However, budget-enforcer Heather on the right shoulder tried to keep things in control, and made me go only for what I felt like I truly needed, rather than just want.

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Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel
While this gel says it is for all skin types, the salicylic acid in it is keeping this product as a spot treatment only for my dry skin. I’ve never had too much of a problem with acne until recently. Having gone off of birth control in recent months, my skin has gone out of wack and I have the same pesty pimples who simply will just not go away no matter what I try.
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I did a first impression on this baby last night and…….I don’t wanna jinx it, but I think I will be having a GOOD review over this very soon. 🙂

Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer in Sand
Already have this product and am obsessed, just with recently self-tanning I need to go for a darker shade — hopefully I am just as in love!
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Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask
I’ve been back and forth on getting a Glamglow treatment for months now, and seeing that Origins masks are rated just as highly at a much more reasonable price I decided to test that out instead. A little nervous for my dry skin, but I think if I follow the guidelines of using it once a week and following with a good moisturizer I’ll be able to really clean out those pores without being too harsh on my skin!
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Also you may notice from the first photo…I, um, am in the VIB club now. Don’t know whether to be excited or embarrassed of my obsession…I think I am a little bit of both!