If you have to buy it, get the best deal!
What do you do with all those foil packets you collect? I have so many foil packets and rarely use them, because I prefer not to make snap decisions. Like with everything else I do, I put thought and consideration into product reviews. Trying a foil is a great way to see if your skin reacts to the product, you cannot tolerate the smell, the consistency is annoying, or if there is anything about the product that bothers you. Sampling a foil and thinking you need to have that product in your life is rare, but it does happen. This is most likely to happen with products where you can see instant results. My plan is to try a foil of something new or something I have not used in a long time every single day during a challenge month. To give my skin a break from constant new products, I’ve decided to alternate months. After every month I complete, I will take one month off. Feel free to take part in this challenge with me. If you are a fellow deal shopper, I bet you have a lot of foils stockpiled in your collection.
Trying a foil of the same type of product each day would probably wreak havoc on my skin. Too much change can irritate the skin, and it easier to see how a specific product reacts when you are not introducing new items to that area too often. I will be trying different types of products throughout the month. My skin is sensitive so I try not to introduce new (wet) products to my face more than once a day. When I try a new sheet mask, foundation, serum, eye cream, etc, I make sure everything else I apply that day is something I’ve used before. If you have sensitive skin, I recommend you do that as well to know what is causing irritation should you react to something. Since there are 30 days in June, I want to try 30 new products via foils this month. On any day where I run out of a full or sample size skincare item I am already using and do not have a backup of the same item or an item I’ve used in the past, I will try a foil of a new hand cream, hair product, body lotion, etc.
The 30 products I’ve selected for this month are below. What is great about some of these foils is I have bigger sizes of them. This challenge can help me see if any are worth opening or if I should just donate or gift them. Those I am unsure about can go into a maybe pile. As I use them, I will edit in my first impressions. They will not necessarily be used in the order listed. I want freedom to grab whatever item I want each day and write about the products when I choose to. Some foils are big enough for multiple uses so I may come back and edit more detailed reviews if I notice anything else from extended use. We’ll see how my skin reacts to the changes, because I am usually pretty consistent with skincare. Other than hand creams, hair products, and lip balms, I usually only have one type of product open at a time.
I realize sheet masks are technically not foils since they are usually full-priced items I’ve purchased. Including them in this challenge is the best way for me to make sure I use them. In the past year, I’ve purchased countless masks, but I barely use them. That needs to change. Shampoo and Conditioner pairs are one foil. Products that work together will always be used in pairs when I own a matching set.
7th Heaven Tea Tree Peel-Off – This is a peel off mask that feels like a thick liquid rubber. The pale green mask goes on clear and dries down within 20-25 minutes. Mine seemed to dry a little faster so I attempted to remove it in less than 20 minutes. In most places, it was like applying and peeling glue off your face. For the few areas that did not dry down, I could not rub it off no matter how hard I tried. I had to wash my face twice to remove everything. After I washed my face, I noticed it did not look different from when I started. Some peels actually look and feel like they are pulling stuff out of your pores. Just as glue probably wouldn’t, this did not either.
Algenist Genius Liquid Collagen – This is a very thick serum. It feels like an oil. I have no clue if it does what it says it does, but it feels great and adds an extra boost of hydration to my dry skin.
CoTZ Face Natural Tinted SPF 40 – This adds the slightest hint of color, but it mostly assists in making my face look matte. Even though I have dry skin, I dislike sunscreens that make my face look greasy. It feels like a primer and really smooths everything out. I think this would make a great under makeup primer/sunscreen, but it is also nice for a makeup free day. Since it is water-resistant, I wore it swimming. My skin did not burn so it did its job.
Crest 3D White Toothpaste (step 1) – I have used this in the past and remembered it working. The taste it leaves behind in my mouth is one I do not prefer. It distorts the taste of everything I eat afterward. My teeth are sensitive and need a fluoride toothpaste. It takes continued use to get whiter teeth, but continued use irritates my sensitivity. This is a product I would only use in short bursts. I do think step 1 is better tasting than step 2, but step 2 is the final taste left in your mouth.
Crest 3D White Whitening Gel (step 2) – I have used this in the past and remembered it working. The taste it leaves behind in my mouth is one I do not prefer. It distorts the taste of everything I eat afterward. My teeth are sensitive and need a fluoride toothpaste. It takes continued use to get whiter teeth, but continued use irritates my sensitivity. This is a product I would only use in short bursts. I do think step 1 is better tasting than step 2, but step 2 is the final taste left in your mouth.
DevaCurl Melt Into Moisture Matcha Butter Conditioning Mask – This definitely leaves my hair feeling soft and less frizzy. It does so without leaving it greasy (as the current deep conditioning mask for curls I am using does). I do feel my hair looked a little less dry than it usually does so it does seem to add moisture.
Dove Exfoliating Body Polish crushed macadamia & rice milk – This smells great and is not overly abrasive. It has a gentle lather so you could use this alone. I used a cleanser first and this afterward. My skin felt softer after using it. The almost mask like consistency leaves my skin feeling moisturized as well. Those looking for an exfoliator that is not rough but leaves skin soft and smooth would probably love this. While I prefer an oil based exfoliant for a slippery feel, this was very nice.
Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Bright Dark Circle Minimizer – I do not really notice much difference with my dark circles. There is an ever so slight tint that almost disappears into nothing, which might brighten ever so slightly on some people. This is a generous sample for an eye cream, but even in a Ziploc dried out faster than I could use it. Somehow I still managed to get about 7 uses. It is very moisturizing, which is pretty much all I really look for in an eye cream.
Estee Lauder Pure Color Love Ultra Mattes 250 Shock & Awe – This is not as uncomfortable as liquid lipstick, but it is not much better. I did enjoy the color. Even with relatively moisturized (thanks to the lip balm I was testing), this did cling to dry patches. It also wore off unevenly.
h2o+ Waterbright Water-Infused Brightening Gel Mask – This is a 2-piece mask so I was able to form it perfectly on my face. Once placed on my face, it did not budge. It almost feels like placing a sticker on my face. There is a cooling effect, but there is not a lot of moisture added. If you have extremely dry skin, like I do, this will not give your skin the moisture you get from an average sheet mask. My skin did look brighter when I removed it so it served the intended purpose. Even considering I put this on in the middle of June when it was hot outside, my skin still felt tighter than usual when I removed it. I could not even imagine using this in winter. When I use a sheet mask, I usually skip the serum part in my skincare routine and everything that precedes it. That was not possible with this mask. I had to do most of my steps for the moisture my skin was craving. For those with normal or oily skin, you might be able to skip serum and everything that comes before it. It does add moisture, just not enough.
HadaLabo Tokyo Sheet Mask – This was very moisturizing. My skin felt so hydrated and refreshed after 20 minutes with this on. Between the hyaluronic acid and the collagen, it is wonderful for someone with dry skin.
John Frieda Frizz Ease Beyond Smooth Frizz Immunity Primer – This is all right. While I can see less frizz when using this versus nothing at all, it does not reduce the frizz as much as some other products I’ve tried.
Kate Somerville Quench Hydrating Face Serum – This is a very thick serum. It feels like a combo between an oil and a makeup primer. That makes it intensely moisturizing, but I think some thinner face creams would have a hard time penetrating it. Then again, those using thin face creams probably do not need a lot of moisture. As far as long-term benefits, it is hard to say if this works. I’d be willing to try a larger sample to find out.
Kevyn Aucoin The Etherealist Super Natural Concealer – I need to try this again before I feel comfortable reviewing it. There was some serious creasing under my eyes and not enough coverage on acne. It could have been the products I combined it with causing the creasing though. If I try this again, I will try it with products I know do not crease much.
L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Summer Express Wash-Off Bronzer Cream – This goes on a tad orange, but it does blend nicely into the skin. The sample is generous and after two full face uses, I still have plenty left. One I blend it in and apply setting powder on top, it gives a very subtle bronze glow. Those who want to amplify it can add a powder bronzer on top. For the review, I chose to use it alone.
Lancome Visionnaire Nuit Beauty Sleep Perfector – This has a gel-like consistency and the traditional Lancome scent. If you hate fragrance in skincare, avoid this. Most gel moisturizers leave my skin feeling tight by the morning. My skin still felt nice in the morning, but it is summer. I am unsure how this would work in winter.
Le Couvent Des Minimes The Lotion For Dry Skin – This moisturizes extremely well for a medium density lotion. It spreads easily and evenly so you can cover a great surface area without using too much product.
Living Proof Restore conditioner – I purchased this by mistake thinking it was another Living Proof product I sampled and loved, from the
frizz line. This is nice, but it does not reduce my frizz and have it looking anywhere near as sleek as that one. The good news is I have a full-size to eventually try over a longer period to see what it can do. For immediate results, I would suggest the frizz Conditioner.
Living proof Restore Shampoo – I purchased this by mistake thinking it was another Living Proof product I sampled and loved, from the
frizz line. This is nice, but it does not reduce my frizz and have it looking anywhere near as sleek as that one. The good news is I have a full-size to eventually try over a longer period to see what it can do. For immediate results, I would suggest the frizz Shampoo.
nude Perfect Cleanse omega cleansing jelly – I enjoyed this a lot. One of the reasons I waited so long to try this is because it was super hyped and almost all the places to purchase it did not carry it. This is a cleansing balm, so I used it as my first step to remove makeup. It did a great job. When I did my usual micellar water test after washing my face, there was nothing on the cotton. That means it (combined with my regular second step) removed 100% of the makeup. Everything else I’ve tried with the same second step left makeup remnants. Cleansing balms are quickly becoming my favorite first step for makeup removal.
Origins High-Potency Night-A-Mins Mineral-enriched renewal cream – This is a moderately thick cream so people who want a boost of moisture without a rich cream might enjoy this. It does take a while to seep into the skin, but it does not leave an overly sticky feeling. My skin does still feel moisturized in the morning (but once again, it is summer). The real test is if it still feels great in the morning in winter.
Peter Thomas Roth Max Complexion Correction Pads – This is a lot rougher than the Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads I use. That helps it provide more physical exfoliation. I only had one so it is hard to say how this does on the chemical exfoliation or complexion correction. My skin (even the broken skin near a pimple) was not irritated by that. Considering it has salicylic acid and alcohol, I expected it to. It would be nice to try this for longer to see if it works.
pixi Glow Tonic To-Go Exfoliating Toner Pad – I already have an open Glow Tonic from this brand. This really is just the Glow Tonic soaked into a pad. The pad does not even have ridges so physical exfoliation with this pad is minimal. With the same ingredients, it is still great at chemical exfoliation. These would be great for traveling or someone who applies these on the run, like at the gym. For home use, save money and buy the bottle. Apply it to one of your own pads.
Redken extreme length sealer split end treatment for distressed hair – I will never be able to tell from a foil packet if this really does anything to treat or prevent split ends. That takes more than a small sample to see. What I can say is it is a cream that does not leave the ends as moisturized as the oil based one I regularly use. Because the one from OGX I use works really well, this sample would not convince me to buy it.
Rituals Magic Touch Cherry Blossom & Rice Milk – I have never tried a Rituals product I did not like. This smells incredible. It is also very rich and leaves me extremely moisturized. My guess is this will be beautiful in the winter.
Sephora Velvet Eyeshadow Subtle Gray 05 – I used this as eyeliner. On one eye, it applied nicely (with a brush) and held on all day. My other eye was not as fortunate. The application was messy, which could be user error. It faded some on that eye. One could argue that it might have stayed put, like it did on the other eye, if I applied it better. My hands shake, so I am not the best at applying these type of products. From the sample, I am 100% sure I would have had a hard time applying this as eyeshadow. There is some movement as you spread it, so blending would be harder than applying it as a solid line of eyeliner.
Sjal balans deep pore cleanser – This does not lather so my skin does not get the squeaky clean feeling I love. It does not strip my skin at all, which is nice. I am unsure it deeply cleanses my pores so I cannot offer a review based on its main claim.
skyn Iceland Fresh Start Mask – This is a two-step mask. Phase 1 is a cooling clay. It feels very refreshing. When you add phase 2 (an AHA acid gel) on top of phase 1, it activates and starts to have a warming sensation. It is not uncomfortable, but it is night and day from the feeling of the first step. After 5-10 minutes, I rinsed it off. My skin looked brighter and had a definite glow. I am unsure it smoothed anything out as it promised, but it may take multiple treatments for that effect.
Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer Light – The first time I used this I got heavy creasing. That was with my usual application method of setting it with powder before applying eyeshadows. Using a different eyeshadow palette and no setting powder the second time went better. There was very little creasing. My eyes are extremely hooded and even eyeshadow primer that left me crease free when I was younger no longer does the trick. This clearly showed me with some trial and error and using it exclusively with more blendable shadows that it will work. As I already have a couple I love, I would not buy this though.
Stila Stay All Day Foundation & Concealer – Despite disliking thick foundations, I wanted to review it both ways. As a foundation, it is too thick for my preferences. It does not sit the way I like it too. Even though it is thick, it did not crease too much under my eyes. This also did a pretty good job of covering things. Thus, I like this product as a concealer.
Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid yellow – I am one who believes you should only color correct when necessary. Otherwise, you are applying unneeded makeup adding to overall cake face. On my moderate dark circles, I did notice a small amount of brightening. It was not enough to justify adding an extra step to my routine. That said, someone with dark circles (who is actually a better fit for the product) could love this.
Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Makeup – This really does look very close to natural skin. I love it. My freckles poke through, and it is not overly matte. It does not cling to dry patches or look cakey at all. If someone wanted light to moderate coverage to even out her skin tone but not look overly made up, s/he would probably like this.
Vita Coco Coconut Oil – I used it exclusively as a makeup remover this time. That is the first step of my cleansing on makeup days. It does not remove it as well as I would like. The usual test of using micellar water on cotton after my second cleanse with my regular cleanser yielded a lot of makeup remnants. There was enough for a second use. This time, I applied more and worked it in longer. More makeup got removed, but it still did not come close to removing it all. There are a lot of other uses for coconut oil, so I will try one of those next time I sample this. My face did soak up the moisture when I did my first cleanse. I was brave enough to test this on eye makeup. While it did not burn, it did leave my vision blurry for hours after usage.
Thanks for reading about this challenge, and a special thanks to anyone who follows along with the challenge. It only makes it more fun to complete it with other people. See more challenge articles. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.