Category: Sample Stash Quickie Reviews

Sample Stash Quickie: Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum Review

So after just under a month of daily use, I’m ready to write my Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum review. I know, I know, it’s a long time coming – I’ve had this batch of sample packets for almost two years, I think! But I just have so much skincare stash to work through that, even if I’m almost always testing something new, it’s going to take me eons to work through everything.

innisfree-green-tea-seed-serum-review

In the case of the Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum, my 10 sample packets went a really long way. I used the serum in the morning only and got about 3 generous applications per sample tube – but I only made it through 7 tubes before I realized that, sadly, this was yet another fan favorite product (see: Mizon Snail Recovery Cream) that was just not working out for me.

Before I get too far into that, let’s talk about what the Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum brings to the table.

Here’s the description from the Innisfree website:

A moisturizing serum with organic Jeju green tea and green tea seeds that hydrate your skin from deep within!

1. More moisture and freshness with 100% green tea.
Rich in amino acids and minerals, green tea from Jeju’s own green tea leaves hydrates your skin.

2. Dual Moisture-Rising Technology™ derived from green tea and green tea seed oil
The fresh green tea deeply hydrates your skin and the green tea seed oil creates a strong moisture barrier to keep your skin moisturized longer.

3. The first thing to apply after a face wash!
As the first skincare product you use, it helps hold moisture in your skin and prevents moisture loss.

As instructed, I did always apply the Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum as the step immediately following my cleanser. It applied quickly and evenly and absorbed nicely, so no complaints there. I definitely felt like my skin looked softer and plumper after application to an extremely visible degree, so I really had high hopes!

For the full review, please click the read more~

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Sample Stash Quickie: Shara Shara Gold Label Repescargo Cream Review

My Sample Stash Quickie Reviews are pretty much just as they say on the tin – reviews where I try out sample(s) of a product and then give my basic, initial thoughts. They obviously won’t be as in-depth as reviews where I’ve been able to use a product for weeks or even months, which I usually prefer, but my hope is that they will still be helpful to people who are looking for any information and thoughts on the reviewed product.

It’s actually pretty funny that Memebox recently began to put craploads of Shara Shara products into their boxes, because a few months ago finding English-speaking bloggers with any experience of the brand was almost impossible. I remember posting on /r/AsianBeauty about it and the general consensus was that while a lot of their products looked appealing, nobody had tried them just by virtue of them not being on anybody’s radar.

So of course, I decided to use that as justification to buy a metric crapton of Shara Shara samples from Tester Korea & Rose Rose Shop, haha. Hey, I was trying the brand for everyone’s sake, right, so it was totally okay to buy tons of samples!

Anyhow, since then, Memebox clearly struck some sort of deal with Shara Shara because they’ve been popping up in almost every recent Memebox. Combining that with my pre-existing sample stash and I have months and months of Shara Shara products to try out now!

Today, I’ll give my Shara Shara Gold Label Repescargo Cream review. This was the first Shara Shara product that I tried out of my massive sample stash, and I have to say that it has set a good precedent – I’m even more excited to keep trying this brand after using this cream. But I’m getting ahead of myself, as always!

Prior to using this cream, I’d never used any snail mucin products before – sure, I’d seen the hype and glowing reviews that Mizon’s various flavors of snail goo were getting from my fellow AB addicts, but for some reason I’d just not yet taken the plunge. It was on my to-do list for sure, since I’d heard a lot about snail mucin being excellent for acne prone skins as it helps to repair and soothe inflamed skin, but somehow snail products just never made it into any of my various carts by the time I pulled the trigger on a purchase.

shara shara gold label repescargo cream

Please click the read more for the full post!

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Sample Stash Quickie: Etude House Sparkling Tocs All-in-One Gel Review

My Sample Stash Quickie Reviews are pretty much just as they say on the tin – reviews where I try out sample(s) of a product and then give my basic, initial thoughts. They obviously won’t be as in-depth as reviews where I’ve been able to use a product for weeks or even months, which I usually prefer, but my hope is that they will still be helpful to people who are looking for any information and thoughts on the reviewed product.

In July, I bought a few things from rinishop and received a stack of Etude House Sparkling Tocs All-in-One Gel samples along with my order.

Etude House Sparkling Tocs Gel

I did a ton of Googling to try and figure out precisely WHAT this product was supposed to do, and found only about ~2 reviews. It turns out that the gel is meant to be a sort of ‘purifying/clarifying’ treatment that you use in place of your normal skincare for one week each month. Of the two reviews, one was a video that said it worked for her despite being somewhat drying, and another one said that it broke her out and was gross and sticky. So… a 50/50 divide, haha. I decided then that I’d use up all my samples the next time that I had a sort of ‘open spot’ in my trying new skincare schedule (basically, not on my period because I don’t want hormonal breakouts to confuse the results, and not too close to any other new products or reactions because I want to be able to easily tell what results come from which new products).

Last week it was finally time, I was pretty excited because hey – it’s always fun to entertain the possibility of a miracle product, even if realistically you know that it won’t/can’t live up to its promises.

As it turned out, each sample had enough for one application, so I only had enough to use it morning and night for four days. Now I suppose there’s a possibility that some sort of cosmic transformation hits your skin on days 5-7 and I’ve missed out, but I doubt that. So for purists, keep in mind that I didn’t get to test this out for the full week that Etude House recommends.

If you’d like to read the results from my four-day Sparkling Tocs treatment run, read on!

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Sample Stash Quickie: Skinfood Aloe Vera Foaming Cleanser Review

My Sample Stash Quickie Reviews are pretty much just as they say on the tin – reviews where I try out sample(s) of a product and then give my basic, initial thoughts. They obviously won’t be as in-depth as reviews where I’ve been able to use a product for weeks or even months, which I usually prefer, but my hope is that they will still be helpful to people who are looking for any information and thoughts on the reviewed product.

Today’s sample review is about Skinfood’s Aloe Vera Foaming Cleanser.

Skinfood Aloe Vera Foaming Cleanser

Here are the product claims from Skinfood’s English-language website:

This soft, refreshing cleansing foam contains aloe extract that soothes sensitive skin, and cucumber extracts to moisturize skin, while cleansing.

To Use: Foam a desired amount by rubbing in wet hands, and massage gently and thoroughly on the face. Rinse with warm water.

So, as you can see, Skinfood markets this cleanser as being gentle, hydrating, and non-irritating.

I managed to try this for a few days, since I purchased a multiple-sample pack from Ruby Ruby Shop on eBay – 10 sample packets for $3.84 + $2.50 shipping. You can see the precise listing here, if you’re interested.

skinfood aloe sample

Does this match up with my actual experience? Click the read more to find out!

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Sample Stash Quickie: Etude House Milky You One Step Cleansing Foam Review

My Sample Stash Quickie Reviews are pretty much just as they say on the tin – reviews where I try out sample(s) of a product and then give my basic, initial thoughts. They obviously won’t be as in-depth as reviews where I’ve been able to use a product for weeks or even months, which I usually prefer, but my hope is that they will still be helpful to people who are looking for any information and thoughts on the reviewed product.

Today’s sample is one that I’ve actually received quite a few packets of from various eBayers – Etude House’s Milky You One Step Cleansing Foam!

The product’s claims:

The Cleansing Foam cleanses in just one step, instantly melting away dirt, impurities, and makeup for moist and smooth baby skin.
Containing milk from New Zealand, the milk ceramides keep your skin moist and the colostrum helps maintain healthy skin.

So it can supposedly be used in place of the double cleansing method to fully remove your makeup/sunscreen and clean your skin all in one step, thus the name. It says it will do this without drying out your skin, rather, it presents itself as a moisturizing/hydrating cleanser.

Milk (in beauty products, at least) is usually associated with moisturizing, soothing, gentle effects as well as giving a “milky white” complexion that is soft and pure of blemishes – I’m sure this is the general idea that Etude House is trying to encourage in consumers when they see this product.

Etude House Milky You One Step Cleansing Foam

Even the packaging tries to imply moisture by way of the tube looking like it’s a glass being poured full of milk. The simple-yet-cute design of the package and the blue/white/gold color scheme is very calming (remember, milk is associated with being soothing!) and appealing!

I’m not sure that I would agree with this marketing in regards to this particular cleanser, unfortunately. No, my Etude House Milky You One Step Cleansing Foam review will not be quite so gentle as the milky-soft impression of this product that Etude House has tried to give us!

Read on if you’re curious as to why.

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Sample Stash Quickie: Holika Holika Aqua Fantasy Whitening Cream Review

I have a growing stockpile of samples, so I thought I’d start trying them out and giving my initial impressions. I’m going to call these ‘Sample Stash Quickies’ because these aren’t full reviews by any means – in most cases I’ve only had the chance to try the product once or twice. This category will house just basic first impressions in the hopes that my thoughts are helpful to people looking into the items that I’ve gotten to sample!

First up is Holika Holika’s Aqua Fantasy Whitening Cream.

AquaFantasyWhiteningCream

This cream promises smooth moisture and brightening/whitening properties. With Glacier Water as its main selling point and ice-white packaging and color, it leads the consumer to expect a refreshing experience.

Image courtesy of Holika Holika's Canadian website.
Images courtesy of Holika Holika’s Canadian website.

I’ve added the ingredients to CosDNA, you can now find the product page here.

The only two flags that came up were Cetearyl Alcohol (2 for acne, 2 for irritation) and PEG-100 Stearate (1 for acne). Cetearyl Alcohol usually doesn’t bother my skin, personally, but I know it’s an issue for others.

The texture of the cream is nice; it’s a white, gel-ish cream that doesn’t feel too heavy. It applies relatively easily and smoothly, gliding over the face with little effort.

However, for me it seemed to have a weird, slightly-sticky finish. It almost felt as if it had a layer of primer that hadn’t settled correctly – if you’ve ever had a bad primer, you know what I mean. You can feel a kind of tacky coating on your face. I’m personally not a fan of this feeling, I like my moisturizers to absorb within a few minutes and leave my skin feeling silky and hydrated, not sticky or like I have a weird sheen on my face. Even the primer that I use doesn’t leave such a residue!

While I didn’t notice any ‘whitening’ effects myself – maybe it’s an effect that only happens after continued use? – I did end up with some clogged pores over the two days that I use this. I suspect whatever ingredient gave the product that sticky coating feeling was responsible. The clogs were on my upper cheeks, which isn’t a normal trouble zone for me at all – basically, if I break out there, it means a product clogged me.

I generally adore Holika Holika products, but this one is unfortunately a miss for me. I didn’t notice any amazing brightening or whitening effects, and while the hydrating was acceptable, there are plenty of other creams that give me adequate moisture without leaving a weird, tacky residue – and most importantly, without clogging my pores.

Unfortunately, my Holika Holika Aqua Fantasy Whitening Cream review is that this product is a no-go for me. I guess it’s just not my skin’s fantasy (sooorrry sorry I couldn’t resist ahaha)!

If you want to try this product, there are a number of sources:
$22.02 at W2 Beauty
$20.30 at SASA.com
$10-30 at Amazon
$32 at Pretty & Cute

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