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 31 days in August, I want to try 31 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 31 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 Dead Sea Mud deep Pore Cleansing Hard Drying Mask – My skin did look brighter after I removed this, so I think it helped to clean out my pores. This is recommended for oily skin, so I was not surprised that it dried my skin out a little. I placed it on really dry areas of my skin, since I did not want to try to save the excess.
Alterna Bamboo Shine Silk-Sleek Brilliance Cream – My hair looks shiny and less frizzy when I use this. Like most creams, it is a little more foolproof than an oil. Even when I apply too much, my hair does not look greasy. I’ve found that applying only a little (dime size) works as well as applying a lot (quarter size).
bliss that’s incredi-‘peel’! – This did not irritate my skin. It gave my skin a subtle glow. I would try more to see if there are any long-term effects.
Bodipure Keratin Gloves & Socks – My skin definitely felt softer when I applied these. It gives me that feeling of being at a spa, but I would not regularly buy these. I apply moisturizer after every hand or foot wash, so this is an unnecessary regular cost. Someone who only applies moisturizer once a day may reap more benefits from these.
Briogeo Don’t Despair Repair deep conditioning hair cap system – This is amazing. My hair looked great and was super soft. It was shiny and a lot less frizzy than usual. The price is just too high though. There is no way I would pay $9 every time I wanted to treat my hair. I am unsure how much the cap and the product in the cap contributes to the overall results, but it definitely adds to the cost of the product.
Clinique pep-start eye cream – This moisturizes really well for a medium consistency eye cream. My eyes do look slightly brighter when I apply this, but I do not notice any smoothing. It may smooth for younger women with less wrinkles.
CoTZ Lightly Tinted SPF 50 – I love the texture on this. It feels like a smoothing primer, but more silky with a slightly less silicone feeling. There is an ever so slight tint that will help even out skin tone slightly. Those who want even light coverage will need to add something on top. All freckles, imperfections, and blemishes will pop through, so it looks extremely natural. My skin never burns when I wear this, which is my number one goal.
Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad for body – I really enjoy this. It imparts a lovely color (not orange) while gently giving my skin a chemical peel. This pad is huge, so there was plenty of moisture for my entire body. Everything looked great and nothing looked streaky.
Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad – The one I used for the body did the same thing this one did for my face. It left me with a nice, even color.
Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum – I can see why so many people love this. It is a very silky serum. My skin looked instantly smoother. That is something I expect from a primer, but it is rare from a serum. This added a boost of hydration to my skin, which is wonderful given how dry my skin is. If this has any long-term effects at all, it might be the power serum everyone claims it is. It has ALA in it, which I already use in toners or peels. That might be slight overkill, but I could always alter the other products I use when I use this.
frank body Original Coffee Scrub – This is a little more rough than I generally prefer for scrubs, but it is not a deal breaker. It smells like coffee beans. Funny enough, I hate the taste of coffee, but I love the way it smells (when it is brewing). My skin was so soft after using this, and I still have a lot left. That means a little goes a really long way.
GlamGlow YouthCleanse – I remember trying this before, but I could not remember what I thought. This is a nice cleanser that lathers wonderfully and rinses clean. It gently exfoliates.
goodal Phytowash Yerba Mate Bubble Peeling – This is a very gentle exfoliator, so you could use it every day. It makes my skin feel clean without stripping it. There is slight bubbling and foaming. That causes me to use more than I use of a foaming soap, but it is not too bad.
Japonesque Velvet Touch Primer – This feels like a traditional silicone primer. It is not as silky as the Hourglass or It Cosmetics one, but it is very comfortable. My skin feels more smooth without feeling overly dry.
Korres Quercetin & Oak Serum – I like the texture of this, and it does smell like oak. It is a muted oak smell, so I can tell it is somewhat artificial. The texture is smooth, so I can tell it adds some extra hydration to my dry skin. If there are any skincare benefits, it takes time. After using this, I did not notice an immediate difference. My skin did not react to this, so I would be willing to try a larger sample.
Lancome Shine Lover sampler French Sourire, Fuchsia in Paris, and Inattendue – This is super comfortable. It is somewhere between a lipstick and a gloss. I really like the hybrid. A lipliner would probably help this stay in the lines a little better.
Laneige BB Cushion Light – This was a little dark on me and never quite settled into my skin color the way I would have hoped. It is completely possible that it was just an undertone mismatch, but I did not like the color or the way it sat on my skin. I am unsure if the off-color is what made my skin appear more dry or if it was the product. As I did not see anything redeeming, I would not purchase this. If I got another sample, I would try it again.
Laura Mercier Candle Glow Concealer & Highlighter – This looked nice when I first applied it but the powder on top made it look cakey. As such, I need to try this again with a powder I already know and love to really get a feel for how this works. I do not have another sample though, so I would not buy it.
Laura Mercier Candle Glow Sheer Perfecting Powder – The sample was only enough for one use and I used it with the sponge that came with it. When using it with that sponge, it was cakey. I am unsure if I would have gotten a better look with a beautyblender or a brush, because I do not have another sample to test it. For now, I will just say, this is nothing I would purchase. If another sample makes it my way, I will make sure I apply it with a brush to test it that way, too.
frizz Conditioner – The first time I used this I thought it was the best I’ve ever tried. While my second use did not leave me with feelings that high, it was still really nice. I mistakenly bought the wrong product when I thought I bought this. Someday, I will buy this. It would be nice to have more time with it to see if each use is closer to what I experienced the first time or the second.
frizz shampoo – The first time I used this I thought it was the best I’ve ever tried. While my second use did not leave me with feelings that high, it was still really nice. I mistakenly bought the wrong product when I thought I bought this. Someday, I will buy this. It would be nice to have more time with it to see if each use is closer to what I experienced the first time or the second.
My Beauty Diary Imperial Bird’s Nest Mask – This is a very wet mask that does an incredible job providing moisture. The mask does not move around too much despite how wet it is, so you can move around while wearing this. It claims to firm and while I did notice some ever so slight firming, I noticed my skin looked a lot brighter after using this. I am pleasantly surprised by how affordable this is as I can get 10 for $12.99 at Target. After I use up some of my stockpile, I will definitely grab a pack of these.
organic to green Coco Oil – I used this to remove my makeup. It did remove most of it comfortably. There are items that remove my makeup better, so I would reach for them instead. This was okay though. If I had some on hand, I would use it, but I would not buy this over something else. My skin did not have any new breakouts shortly after using this, so it did not clog my pores.
Oribe Cote d’Azur Body Crème – This is somewhat rich and very moisturizing. It has the wonderful Oribe scent that I adore. While I would never pay full price for this, I would gladly use any samples I get.
Patchology FlashPatch Rejuvenating Eye Gels – I was trying to save these for when I have puffy eyes. Thankfully, I’ve been crying less or not going anywhere on days I cry, so I did not want to waste these. After waking up with darker circles than usual on a day I had plans, I decided to try these. They minimized the look of my dark circles and made my eyes look brighter. My eyes also looked smoother. As soon as I have puffy eyes on a day where I need to go somewhere, I will review them that way (I bought a package of these, so I have more). Use the search bar or check my Empties, because it is unlikely I will remember to come back and edit this.
Paula’s Choice Clinical Ultra-Rich Soothing Body Butter – It took the entire 0.12oz packet to do one leg. Yes, it is very rich and very moisturizing. At almost $5 an ounce and the amount of product needed to cover my body, I would not buy this on a regular basis at all. One huge plus is it moisturizes without a sticky or greasy feeling at all. Yet it does not disappear in the skin, which I dislike. In other words, it is an incredible body butter for those willing to lay out the cash.
Redken extreme Megamask Treatment – This has a texture like no hair mask I’ve ever seen. It is almost like a thick mousse. What I like about that is it really coats the hair and does not fall out. There is a built-in hair extender to help elongate the amount of time needed before the next wash. My hair usually gets oily fast, and I noticed it was less oily after using this. While it is too difficult to tell if this made my hair stronger after a single use, I definitely noticed less fallout than usual. The softness this provided was lovely, and I noticed a reduction in frizz and tangles. Overall, I think this is a great mask. However, it falls slightly short of the one I love in softness and shine.
Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Leave-In Conditioner – This seems to work nicely at detangling and softening my hair. It is a little thick for a leave-in, so I can see it weighing some hair down. I have a lot of frizzy hair, so it did not bother me. This is a clarifying leave-in, which I appreciate. Despite its thick texture, it does not seem to leave a lot of residue in my hair. While I still pair this with an oil for frizz, it does help reduce frizz slightly. Those without a lot of frizz could probably use this alone.
SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 Anti-Aging Lipid Replenishment Treatment – This is a beautiful moisturizer that feels so incredibly hydrating. It is thick, but it is not as rich as some. That makes it easy to blend into the skin. My skin still felt hydrated the next morning (I skip my evening face wash when I never leave the house; no sunscreen or makeup). Finding a moisturizer that still works 24 hours in is extremely rare for my dry skin. I think this might be near the top of the best I’ve tried. If I can get a bigger sample of this, I would love that.
Starskin Detoxifying Sea Kelp Leaf Face Mask – This is a little sticky and despite coming in two separate pieces would not stay on my face. The bottom part actually fell off twice in the 20 minutes I had it on. I did feel nice hydration from the serum, but the directions state you should rinse it off. Granted, some of the serum got absorbed into my skin, but I do not like to rinse off a sheet mask when I usually use them to add moisture. Even with rinsing my face, it did provide more moisture. If I wanted a really moisturizing mask, I would not grab this one though. My face did look brighter and less red. There was no difference in the fine lines or firmness, so I assume those benefits come over time if they come at all.
Tatcha Indigo soothing triple recovery cream – This is not the richest cream I’ve ever tried, but it manages to feel so decadent. It claims to soothe, balance, and restore while reversing the signs of premature aging. I cannot speak to it doing any of those things based off a small sample. My skin did feel deeply moisturized though, which is all I really ask for of a moisturizer.
TonyMoly Kiss Kiss Lovely Lip Patch Mint – I did not get a whitehead around my lips after using this, which I get more often than not with most lip masks. That already puts it above others. My lips still felt soft two days afterward without using a lip balm. Had I added a lip balm, I am sure I would have noticed even better results. Lip masks are a pointless product to me. Even though this was nicer than most, I would not purchase this unless it was in a set or seriously discounted.
Ulta Silky Smooth Body Lotion Morning Whisper – I really like this scent. The moisturizer is easier to spread than the body butters, but it is not as rich. My skin still feels soft and smooth. While I would purchase the body butter over this almost every time, it is nice to have something lighter in warm weather.
Urban Decay Naked Skin Ulta Definition Powder Foundation – I cannot believe this got discontinued and am so glad I purchased a full-size (still unused) before it did. This is a wet or dry formula, similar to one I love from Lancome. Like the one I have from Lancome, I use it on top of a light to medium coverage foundation to set it and build coverage. My skin is too dry to use a powder foundation on its own, even wet. Everything looked smooth, there was minimal creasing, and it lasted all day. The light shade also works great on my skin tone. One day, I will try it alone and alone while wet. Until then, I can say it layers well. There is no cakey feeling. It really sits beautiful on the skin without accentuating pores or fine lines. Urban Decay needs to bring this back and people need to discover it.
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.