A Sephora moderator contacted me via its Beautytalk Forum on 06/03/16. Beautytalk is my favorite online hangout, because there are a lot of like-minded friendly people to chat with about all things beauty. I probably hang out there a little more than I should. Those familiar with Beautytalk may know me under the user notcreative. The moderator wrote, “as an active community member who has made great contributions and given helpful product recommendations on BeautyTalk, you’ve been especially chosen to receive a free gift (no purchase necessary) of a new Ole Henriksen product! You will receive Power Bright, a three-step brightening system with a 25% Vitamin C Complex.”
This is the second time I received a free gift. The first was the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Medi Spa Peel, which was nearly two years ago. That is an amazing product, so I was happy to sample it. To get the free gift, you always have to return the message with your name and address by the deadline, which was 06/08/16. There is no catch, but they do ask for a review on Beautytalk and Sephora.com. I actually love reviewing products (even when I pay full-price), so I never mind following through with requests to review free items. Sephora teams up with brands to offer product testing on Beautytalk every few months (give or take). Beauty talk members get selected for testing based on: how active they are, where they’ve posted, and love for a brand. While I cannot give specific advice on how to trigger a free offer or what free offers may come in the future, I can say I am very active, answer skincare questions when I can, and love Ole Henriksen. Any or all of those factors could have played a role in my selection for this freebie.
My Ole Henriksen Power Bright gift arrived via UPS on 06/27/16, which was my 20th anniversary. That made the gift a bit more special. Power Bright is a 3-step system that includes: Truth Sugar Glow Polishing Mask, Truth 25% Vitamin C Concentrate, and Pure Truth™ Melting Cleanser. The Vitamin C Concentrate is only sold in this set, but the other two are available for purchase separately.
I’d never tried any of the three items before, so I like that I can purchase two separately. That comes in handy for anyone who likes a part of this set. Although I never look at ingredients unless I react to a product, I photographed them for those who do.
Power Bright retails for $55, and Sephora sent me the full-size. It includes: 2 Complexion Sponges, 6x 0.14oz Truth Sugar Glow Polishing Mask, 6x 0.11oz Truth 25% Vitamin C Concentrate, and 6x 0.11oz Pure Truth™ Melting Cleanser. The pods are foils, and they cannot be resealed once they’re opened. Each pod holds more than enough product for two liberal applications. With conservative applications, there may even be enough for three. This means, I am not a fan of this packaging. Make sure you seal pods in a Ziploc between uses to keep them as fresh as possible. While I am sure the intent is to use a full pod per use, that is just wasteful.
I have not used the Complexion Sponges yet and am not sure I will for this product. Fingers spread the product perfectly fine and you have to wash your hands after applying each product whether you use the sponge or not, so I’d just view this as an extra item to clean. Hopefully, I can repurpose these for something more practical. My current plan is to give one to each boy and let them play with it like a frisbee. It is not as soft as a sponge typically is, so it will probably fly.
The packaging suggests using the product three times a week. At this price, I would never use it that much. I would probably use it once a week, as I usually only apply a mask once a week anyway. The instructions are to add step one to a moist face for 5-10 minutes. Rinse step one and apply two to a dry face for 2-3 minutes. Apply step 3 over step 2 and keep it on for 10-15 minutes. After all steps, I rinse everything off and apply my serums and moisturizers.
The first time I used this, it was getting dark by the time I finished. I did get a grainy after shot, but I decided to get product shots later. My skin was still soft for 3-4 days after using this, so I think three uses a week would be wasteful on my skin. Using it twice a week would be beneficial if I did not mind spending $55 every six weeks (that is using one pod for two uses as I am already doing). Like similar products, it burns like hell when it enters a cut, so I need to stop picking (preferably forever but at least a day or two before a treatment). The first step initially smelled great, then the undertone smell came through. That is not a pleasant smell. There was some major tingling (nothing too unbearable) during step 2. It calmed a bit when I added step 3. My husband pointed out that my face was very red and asked if I gave myself a chemical burn immediately after. I do not think it was as red as he claims, and my skin looked great the next morning.
I used it in the morning the second time to capture better light. Step One (pictured above) is an exfoliant. It is a rough exfoliant, so it is important to gently massage it as you rinse it off. Rubbing it (as I made the mistake of doing the first time) is probably why the second step felt a little uncomfortable. A gentle massage is all this product needs to exfoliate. My skin felt as soft the second time as it did the first time, so there is no need to scrub. The smell was not as bad the second time, so it seems I am getting used to it. I still think it starts great before it turns.
I barely felt any tingling with the step 2 on the second use. It seems gently removing step 1 is all I need to prevent step 2 from being uncomfortable. There was only one place under my left eye (picture right) where I even felt tingling. This teaches me not place it too high in my eye sockets.
The only part of my face that was tingling calmed again when I applied step 3. There is something very soothing about this step. If I were to purchase any of these items individually, it would likely be this one. My skin feels really clean and soft after using the series, and I know it has a lot to do with this step. It feels like it cleanses deeply and the oil in this feels great.
My skin looks and feels great after I use the series. The picture above is right after rinsing everything off and before adding any moisturizers or serums. It was nowhere near as red after the second use, because I think scrubbing with the rough exfoliant on step 1 was a little too harsh. That was user error, because the instructions are clear about a gentle massage. When I use this exactly as instructed, I think it is amazing. There is a disclaimer not to use this if your skin is sensitive. Mine is sensitive, but I decided to try it anyway. Thankfully, it turned out well.
One of the other recipients of this free gift started the Beautytalk Thread to discuss this freebie. I’ve already shared my first thoughts there and will continue updating my thoughts as I finish this there and here. Once I am all done with the product, I will add my official review to Sephora.com and compete both requests. So far, I am definitely feeling the glow this promises and the baby soft skin it fails to mention. If I see any results on firmness, fine lines, or wrinkles, I will report back.
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