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 December, I want to try 31 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.
Algenist Algae Brightening Mask – The algae pieces were very gentle as I worked the mask into my skin. I could still feel it working though. This dried down like a clay mask, so I expected my skin to feel tight and dry when I rinsed it off. To my surprise, it felt supple. There was a lot of moisture left. When I rinsed my face, it looked cleaner and brighter.
AMOREPACIFIC Intensive Vitalizing Eye Essence – I do not really see a difference, but I always use a serum I do not see much difference with either. My under eyes are so dry that I like layering the products to provide moisture. This is a little more thin compared to the serums I use, so I feel it would be better paired with makeup. Without makeup, I prefer something thicker to help me moisturize.
bliss triple oxygen+c energizing cream – This claims it is a cream, but it had the consistency of a serum. I did some research and noticed that it is a cream when new. The cream breaks down into a liquid when the product is old. I do not think I’ve had this sample that long, but it could have sat around for a while before I ever received it. My guess is the vitamin C in this prevents it from lasting too long (even sealed). If I ever get a sample while it is still a cream, I will give a proper review. Any product that has trouble staying in its form is something I probably would not buy even if it is an incredible product. Knowing it might arrive in liquid form or can melt into liquid form before I can use it all is enough for me to say no thanks.
Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream – This was rich, but it allowed my skin to breathe a bit. That makes it extremely comfortable to wear, although it is winter. I would need to try it again in summer to see if it breathes in warm weather. My skin looked more supple, but I did not really notice a change in the appearance of wrinkles.
fresh Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask – There was enough product for two conservative uses, which is how I wear my overnight masks. I do not like to layer the product on too thick. My face did not look any firmer, but most of the surveyed women who responded after the 2-week or one month mark. If this product works, I am guessing it is in the long-term. This provided some moisture, but not as much as I want in an overnight mask.
Garnier SkinActive Soothing 3-in-1 Moisturizer Day / Night Mask – I actually like this moisturizer all three ways, which is unusual for me. It is rich, so some might find it a little thick for day time use. As I did not apply any makeup the time I wore it in the day, I cannot review it that way. A lot of thick moisturizers start to pill up when you apply things on top. This did pill slightly as a mask, but I am not even mad at it for that. Instead of rinsing it the way I would with a hydrating mask, I chose to work it into the skin. After all, it is a night-time moisturizer as well. That is when the pilling started. Had I rinsed, the pilling would not have happened. I am positive of that, because I had no pilling when I used this as a night-time moisturizer. It can feel a little sticky, but I do not mind that (especially when I am not placing makeup on top). My skin feels soft and deeply hydrated, so I think this is especially beautiful in the winter.
GlamGlow YouthMud – I was already familiar with this one, but it had been a while since I used it. For a long time, I had myself convinced I liked this better than SuperMud. It gave similar results with less uncomfortable tingling. Either it was reformulated or I never noticed the tingling is about the same. While I can bear it with SuperMud, I see slightly more results. Thus, I will opt for that one over this one. Tastes change. This one promises visibly brighter and tighter skin. My skin never looks tighter, but it does always look brighter and more clean. The thing is it looks brighter and even more clean with SuperMud. I will stick with that one.
Kate Somerville CytoCell™ P299 Oil Free Anti Wrinkle Serum – This feels nice with its somewhat milky consistency. It absorbs nicely into my skin. I did not notice any immediate effects, as I rarely do with serum. As I did not have any reaction, I would have tried a larger sample of this. Sadly, I cannot find anyone who sells it. According to my spreadsheet, I have another foil sample, and I will probably use it. The problem is a single foil could not really give me a feel for what this serum does. I doubt a second could even if I opened it back to back. Serums need more time unless the serum boasts immediate results. If this did, I am unsure what they were. Nothing seemed different before or after I applied it.
L’Occitane Shea Hand Cream – This is another one I already love, but I pulled a lot of moisturizers for my dry winter skin and thought it would be sad not to pull this one. I enjoyed this as much as I used to and am only disappointed that the packet only had two uses.
L’Oreal Mythic Oil Masque – I tried this earlier in the year and thought it left my hair looking greasy. When I tried it the second time, I applied a lot less to the roots of my hair. Applying no product to my roots is nearly impossible for me. Even with a very light application, some of the oil will stick around after rinsing it out. Those who like super slick hair may enjoy this. The frizz I usually have near the top of my head was smooth and sleek. It looked a lot better than it did the first time, but it still was on the verge of greasy looking in a few hours. If I got a sample of this again, I will try to remember to use some dry shampoo on the night of washing. Finding something that smooths those baby hairs down without looking too greasy and without using heat styling is the biggest challenge.
Lancome Absolue L’Extrait ultimate eye patch – I saved these for a special occasion. My eyes looked bright and awake. They did not have any particular dark circles or puffiness on the day I applied them, which is what I generally save eye gels for. In the past, I remember loving the result. While I was not as pleased this time, it was still nice. If they were cheaper, I would buy more. For their price, I do not feel the urge to purchase them.
Le Couvent Des Minimes Gardener’s Hand Healer – This is another one I already love, especially the lemon fragrance. I enjoyed this as much as I used to and am only disappointed that the packet only had two uses.
MD Solar Sciences Mineral Crème – This goes on like a primer. It leaves my skin feeling smooth and looking blurred. There is a very slight white cast, but I can work that in. My skin looked completely matte all day. At the end of the day, my skin was still soft and hydrated. I cannot say for sure if this blocks the sun (as I was not in the sun long enough to burn), but it is wonderful on every other front, including not having a harsh sunscreen fragrance.
Murad Hydro-Glow Aqua Peel – I did not notice much difference in the appearance of my wrinkles, but it did a great job moisturizing my face. It made my skin look very firm and supple. My skin felt more hydrated for a while after I finished this, so I can see this having long-term effects if used regularly.
Origins High-Potency Night-A-Mins Mineral-enriched renewal cream – My sample was too small to review the AHA benefits. As a night cream, it is okay. It is not as rich as some night creams, but it does not weigh heavy on the skin either. Those who find regular night creams might enjoy it. While it does moisturize until the morning, it is not as potent of a moisturizer as the Drink Up-Intensive Overnight Mask from the brand. Between the two products, I would recommend Drink-Up Intensive for those like me with dry skin.
Ouidad Climate Control – I love that I can comb through my hair once it dries without getting caught on anything. Part of the reason I avoid styling products is how much the brush sticks in my dry hair when I try to brush it out. My hair tangles a lot on its own. It does not need help from anything to make it hard to comb through. This definitely reduces frizz, too. When I want to wear my hair wavy and soft, I will grab this. The product impressed me before, but I forgot how much I liked this. So glad this challenge is getting me to try products I forgot about.
Patchology Flashmasque Hydrate 5 Minute Facial Sheet – I used this years ago and fell in love. It was so incredibly hydrating, and I wanted an extra boost of hydration this winter. While it was still very hydrating, I think my experience with more sheet masks since then leads me to believe a lot of sheet masks are this hydrating now. Do not get me wrong, I still love this. There are just cheaper masks that hydrate as well leading me to think I will only grab this brand when it is on sale.
PETERTHOMASROTH Rose Repair Gel Mask – I found this mask very soothing when I was having an allergic reaction to something else. As I have a larger sample I purchased, I will explore this further with that when my skin is calm.
Pretty Animalz BY MASQUEBAR Reindeer calming sheet mask – This was not particularly calming, but it did provide extra moisture and looked really cute while doing so. I would definitely repurchase this.
Roloxin Lift Revitalizing Facial Treatment – This has almost a paste like appearance both in color and texture. If anything, it is thicker than paste, but it becomes close to paste once you add it to your moist face. Like most masks that promise to lift, it makes my face tight and looks like Elmers’ Glue on my face just before I rinse it off. Unlike most lifting masks, it actually works. My skin looked more firm and my wrinkles looked less prominent. It surprised me so much I decided to watch a video on it. Turns out, you can even take this around the eyes. I did not get mine that close, but I would like to try it that way if I ever get another sample of this. The only reason I would not buy this (other than the expensive price) is it does not last long. For me, I noticed everything looked the way it usually does in a few short hours. I could see this being awesome just before a big event. Just try to bump into the people you want to see you looking your best in the early event hours. Those who see you toward the end will not notice the façade as it will have faded by then.
SachaJuan Stockholm Hair Cleansing Cream Professional Haircare – I hated the packaging on this. There is no slit to rip it open. The directions are not the most helpful either, so I just started squeezing it back and forth until product started oozing out of multiple holes the friction created. It resulted in a huge mess and some product on the bottom of my shower floor. This is the consistency of a cleansing conditioner, so I used it alone. In order to test it for the full week, as that is how long it claims it takes for the scalp to adjust, I would need more samples. Everything in this foil was gone in one use. From a single foil, I can say my hair does look clean. My hair does have some oil near the roots, but it does not look greasy at all. It is almost as if it cleansed my hair without stripping the natural oil. There is no lather, so it takes a lot of rubbing to cleanse. The directions suggest one-minute, but I always go longer (based on my experience from similar products). Though my hair is soft, it is not as soft as some products leave it and it also more flat than usual. I am guessing this added some moisture, because my hair is not as frizzy as it usually is. Overall, I would say this is a nice cleansing conditioner. Wen is still my favorite, so I would purchase that before this. If more samples ever make it my way, I will try to give this the week it suggests.
Sephora Brush it off cleansing brush wipes
Sexy Hair long sexy hair luxe detangler – This is thick, but it does not seem to weigh my hair down when I use it. Granted, I have a lot of hair (but, it is fine). I cannot say this adds any moisture, but it does help me comb through my hair with less tangles.
Skin & Co Boosting Anti-Aging Serum – This is another milky serum. It adds an extra boost of moisture, which is always welcome on my dry skin. Other than that, I do not notice much difference. My guess is it would take a while to see if the claims are true.
Skinfix Face Cleansing Cloth – This is a really large cloth, so I was able to use it to remove all my makeup, including eye makeup. It was not the wettest cloth ever, but it was far from dry. While it did not burn or irritate my eyes at all, it did make them feel slightly uncomfortable for a few minutes after. The cloth claims you can use this without rinsing. I always wash my face with my regular wash after using a cloth like this to remove makeup, so I did that again. When I tested my face with micellar water on a cotton pad after washing, there were still some traces of makeup. That means this does not remove all makeup. Very few things really do, other than my incredible micellar water I use to test how well other things remove makeup.
Tatcha The Water Cream – It was way too hard to open. Anyone with arthritis should give this away if they receive this. I finally had to use tweezers to poke a hole in it, because two minutes was already more than enough time trying to open it the “right way.” At 0.03oz, this sample is also too small (might have stretched further if I could have opened it properly to retrieve everything). I had to bring in another to moisturize my neck and chest. When I first applied this, I thought it was great. My skin felt supple and hydrated. Later, I noticed my neck and chest (where I applied something else) felt more moisturized. I never would have noticed that if this sample was big enough. I ordered a 100-point perk deluxe sample of this recently. I’ve decided to keep it and test this product longer in the future.
The Estee Edit Pore Vanishing Stick – I went through a lot of trouble to get this sample, then put it away and forgot about it. It does fill in pores very well and gives the skin a super smooth appearance. My foundation that looks fine on top of most primers did not sit nicely on top of this. This leads me to believe this primer will not pair well with most foundations, but it will improve skin for those not placing foundation on top.
Too Faced Born This Way Foundation Vanilla – I liked the way this sat on my skin and the coverage looked very natural. It lasted all day and did not crease anywhere (after getting set with powder). This particular color is a little yellow for me, but I would love to try this again in a different shade.
Up & Up Dental Whitening Treatment – I had a hard time getting the bottom one to stick. The directions say you need to stick the bottom one on first, which I did not do. In case it was user error, I will place these in the next challenge to try it again. My mouth was watering a lot when I tried to stick it, and the ingredients may activate that. Because it did not stick well, it fell about 10-minutes short of the 30-minute window. Within the first few minutes, I had about a minute of discomfort on the bottom only. This was nothing too painful, and I know because have experienced some really painful whitening treatments. Again, an application issue may have caused that problem. Over the years, my bottom gums have always been more sensitive than my top gums though. On top, I wore the strip for the full 30-minutes. There was some lightening on both sets of teeth. Considering the top strip was on over 10 minutes longer, I did not really notice a difference in the top and bottom shades. This seems less effective than more popular ones, but a lot of those popular ones are unbearable for my gums.
Vera Bradley Vanilla Sea Salt Body Lotion – I really dislike when a sample is not big enough to complete its task. It forces me to apply something else on other parts of my body. The parts of my body where I applied my FAB Ultra Repair Cream felt much more hydrated. Although, this did fine, I may not have noticed it was inferior without the direct comparison. This really smells like vanilla and sea salt, but in an artificial way. That is far from my favorite scent. Given the price, the scent is not my favorite, and it is not even the most moisturizing formula, I would never buy this. If another sample made it my way, I would use it.
yestocarrots Nourishing Body Butter – Whenever a body butter claims it is ultra rich, I expect a thick moisturizer that takes a long time to work into the skin. This is not super thick, but it does not take long to work into the skin either. My skin feels nice and hydrated. A 0.1oz sample on a body butter is a waste of time, because that is nowhere near enough product to work into the body. I can say that I used this until it ran out and used my First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair cream on the areas I did not have enough of this. Those areas felt more moisturized than the areas I applied this on. Companies set themselves up to fail when the samples are too small, and I have to put it in direct competition with something else to finish the job.
What do you think about my December 2018 Foil Challenge? Let me know below. 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.