InTruBeauty: Samples Reviews & New Products

Friday, December 30, 2011

Samples Reviews & New Products

This is going to kind of being a random thoughts blog since my thoughts seem very random right now. I am going to start with doing mini reviews of samples I have received. I will note which products were actually sent to us by companies to review, although that does not change our opinion. Others were from my birchbox, makeup counters, or Sephora orders. I will also providing you with better alternatives when applicable.

Please comment and share your opinions of these products as well!

Here we go!

1. Oscar Blandi Jasmine Protein Mist, 250 ml $18
Product description: leave-in spray that protects, fortifies, and revives damp or dry strands. 
Review: So my first impression of this product was pretty poor, this is suppose to help with 2nd day hair, but I didn't notice any difference. After using this for awhile, my impression has improved slightly. I know Justina thought the same and now likes this product more. I sprayed this in my damp hair today and although it smells nice, I don't notice a difference that is worth $18. (from birchbox)

Jessica's alternative recommendation: Try TIGI's Bed Head After party smoothing cream. This is not a spray like Oscar Blandi, but this is an excellent must have product for smoothing unruly hair and making 2nd day hair look great. The cheapest alternative would be Suave Dry shampoo which I also love.

2. Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave-in Conditioner, 6oz $18
Product Description: This light treatment infuses hair with antioxidants and vitamins, then seals strands to keep moisture in and humidity out. From birchbox.
Review: This product does nothing for me. In fact, this feels too heavy for my hair. I've tried using less and I have the same result. It makes my hair feel heavy and sticky. Not what I'm looking for! This is one of those products you actually really want to like and I gave this many tries. The sample actually last many uses and have tried this probably about 5 times. Now that my hair is drying while using this, I'm going to attach the word "hate" to this product. I hate the texture and feel of my hair after this. I can't even run my fingers through my hair without winding up in a big tangle. 

Jessica's alternative recommendation: Try Rusk Smoother Leave in Conditioner. This is one of my favorite must have products. It smells great with passionflower and aloe, leaves hair soft and easy to style. Love, love, love!

3. Sunday Riley Modern Skincare Juno Transformative Lipid Serum, 30 ml $125
Product description: Celebs and models swear by this luxe cocktail of 13 essential oils, which absorbs instantly to replenish, firm, and protect skin. From birchbox.
Review: For $125, I pretty much expect pure magic, so I know my standards are pretty high. I would have to see my skin completely transformed to drop this amount of cash on a product. I was super excited to try this when I read the product description. The consistency is oil and looks and smells like you are putting olive oil on your face (which you can do without clogging pores). What I have basically used this for now is more as a spot treatment where I feel my face needs some repair help, such as an old pimple scab or scar, or just an area that is drier than others. I will say this does feel very luxurious when you apply this and it definitely feels like a treat for your face, but it dam well better for that price tag. 

Jessica's alternative: You can use oils like olive oil on your face or for makeup remover and these won't clog your pores. You can buy oils and make your own face serum, and bonus it won't cost you $125!

4. Philosophy Miracle Worker, 1.7oz $55 and Hope in a Jar, 2oz $38
Miracle worker has a great light clean fresh scent that I love. This is an anti-aging moisturizer and still being in my 20s, I don't reach for many anti-aging products unless they are preventative and geared towards my age range. This feels great being applied. I didn't notice any miracle anti-aging, but I don't think this product is really geared towards me. It has an SPF of 55.

Hope in a Jar is a very similar consistency, it goes on light and blends in nicely. I don't like the smell on this product as much. I was super excited to try this sample because I have heard so many great things about this product. This review is obviously based on the amount of the sample I have and I have heard that when you get to the bottom of the actual jar, you will have seen really great results. I still have high hopes for this, but since it is pricey, I don't think I will be purchasing it until I can justify the cost. I have dry skin and for me, this was not moisturizing enough. I ended up having to use another moisturizer so my skin did not feel dry and stiff. There is Hope in a Jar for all skin types and for dry skin, maybe I would have better luck with the dry skin one.

Jessica's alternative: Pond's Dry Skin cream. I have been using this for years and years and it is the only face lotion I've used that I can apply one layer and survive the harsh winter. Love it! (I know Justina doesn't like this for sensitive skin, but they do have a sensitive skin face cream as well). This is in the $6 range and last FOREVER! This is my all time favorite. 

5. M.A.D Skincare Brightening Daily Face Moisturizer, 1.7oz $42 and Spot on Targeted Skin Brightening Serum, $38
Product Description, Moisturizer: The signs of aging require multiple age fighting ingredients to get you to look your best. M.A. Dermaceuticals has combined the best nature and science has to offer to give you even skin tone and skin that is plump, moist and hydrated minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. A light weight daily moisturizer to make you look your best and return a more youthful glow to the appearance of your skin. No parabens or chemical colorants.
Serum: Spot On Targeted Skin Brightening serum will help minimize dark spots, uneven skin tone and help give a burst of radiance to dull tired skin. For best results use this twice daily to improve skin tone. 

These do not contain parabens or chemical colorants.

Review: I am in love with these products. One small pump of the brightening moisturizer and thats all I need. The smell is fantastic, it reminds me of an "organic" smell. I apply this all over my face and then use the serum on my cheeks, chin, and old scars to brighten up those areas. The serum smells even better than the lotion. I will be doing a full review of M.A.D. skincare in the future as I have their anti-aging, acne, and environmental lines to try out as well. I know Justina loves this as well. So far, so good! :) *these products were sent to us by M.A.D Skincare to review* Check them out at

6. Klorane Soothing Eye Makeup Remover with Cornflower, 3.4oz $9
Product Description: Infused with French cornflower extracts, this formula is designed for even the most sensitive eyes. From birchbox.
Review: This stands up to my other makeup removers. I don't think there is anything exceptional about it, I think it works like any decent makeup remover. 

Jessica's alternatives: Clinique take off the day (oil based), Neutrogena hydrating eye makeup remover (lotion), Vaseline, or L'oreal Dermo Expertise Oil free (liquid) 

7. L'oreal Professional line Mythic Oil , $28
Product Description: For all hair types with a blend of avocado oil and grape seed oil. It leaves hair instantly more supple, tamed and glossy. Immediately absorbed for a lightweight feel and finish.

Review: I didn't notice any difference when I used this. To be fair, I tried 2 new products on the same night which I know I shouldn't do. I used the Altera Bamboo anti-frizz shampoo and conditioner which was my first time using them and then the oil. So, I will have to update this again later with my normal conditioner. The texture of my hair was different and was very prone to tangles which is unusual. I'm thinking it was the conditioner and shampoo although for $20 each, they better not do that (although I got them at COSTCO). The oil didn't really do anything live changing to my hair. There was nothing exceptional about the smell, texture, etc. The smell reminds me of any shampoo you can buy, like a light clean scent. I will say it didn't leave my hair feeling oily or weighed down. I will update if my opinion changes.

Jessica's alternative: Argan one n only Oil Treatment. This can be found at Sally's Beauty and is used for finishing, smoothing, and conditioning. This is $8.49 with your Sally's Card and since you only need a little bit, this product lasts a very long time. Love this stuff!

8. Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator, 1oz $58
Product Description: The first fast-acting Serum from Estée Lauder Research proven to dramatically reduce the look of uneven skintoneredness, acne marks, dark spots, sun spots, discolorations
Review: No surprise that I love this stuff. Estee Lauder counter actually gave me a bunch of samples and I know that Justina has this and has used this as well. This feels amazing going on and I would highly recommend it. Justina previously posted a complete Estee Lauder blog, so be sure to check that one out for my Estee Lauder product information. I'm always drawn to brightening or even skintone products. This is quite pricey, but gives you a lot of bang for your buck. 

9. LaROCCA Skincare Champagne & Shimmer Body Polish, 6.76oz $9
Product Description: glam scrub featuring 24K collodial gold. From birchbox. 
Review: There seems to be more oil than scrub with this. The smell is okay, a little on the perfumey side. I find usually with hand scrubs that you don't need much product, so I grabbed a bit and had to dip back in for more product because it sunk into my hands pretty quickly. This isn't too rough on your hands. My hands do feel soft and a bit oily, but you will find that with a lot of oil based hand scrubs. This is just okay in my book. 

Jessica's product alternatives: Check out Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Hand Recovery Scrub. I am very very rough on my hands and the winters in Wisconsin are very harsh and drying, but this hand scrub gets me through. It is my absolute fave hand scrub and I don't mind the scent whereas some of Crabtree's Garden scents are just too heavy for me. $10 range. I also like a locally made product from Handmade Natural Beauty. It is called Spa Hand Scrub in Cranberry Almond. This smells AMAZING!!!! This is made by a local woman in town who sells at trade shows, but also has a store. I highly recommend the lotions as well. Everything is made from natural ingredients. You can find her online at

--> I feel like I didn't really like much of anything really from these samples, which is why I included my alternatives. It has taken me a lot of time and money to find the great affordable products that work and so it would take something really great for me to switch over or purchase from a sample.

Here are a couple new products for which I will be doing a very short mini review:

10. Rimmel New Products:
A) Scandaleyes Mascara
*This product was sent to us by Rimmel to review*
This is a great new mascara. This will really lengthen your lashes. It has a HUGE brush and is comparable to Dior Show mascara. 

B) Rimmel Glameyes HD in the shape of the British flag
We like the English rose palette which has a beautiful light pink great for an all over lid color and/or highlight color along with darker neutrals to add to the crease. The other colors have both brown and pinks in them and work really well together. The design of this palette is super cute, but you need some small brushes to get to some of the shadows because of the design. Justina is a finalist in the Rimmel 10 contest and we will be posting our contest video very soon where you can see her look from these products. 

I just saw these at Walgreens yesterday. 

Random thoughts
  • Eye drops have been my best friend lately. Due to lack of sleep and allergies, my eyes have been very red. This looks horrible when you have done your makeup and foundation nice and you see 2 beady red eyes popping out. I am using Equate brand found at Walmart eye drops for red eyes and allergies. I alternate which ones I use and have been using these daily. These really help.
  • You know we love Vaseline! Try applying a small layer of Vaseline over your face after the shower when it is still dewey. There are two types of moisturizers, one that puts moisture into your face and the other that locks moisture in. Vaseline in the later. So, if you have some water on your face after your shower and you put Vaseline on your face, your face will retain this moisture. 
  • The #1 rule in stain removal is like gets out like. I did a short post on this, but if you have a gravy or oil stain, try getting this out with a like product such as shampoo. 
  • Try switching your toothpaste to Arm n hammer baking soda toothpaste. My family swears by this.

Thats all folks! Happy New Years! Any plans?!

PS: Stay Tuned for our reviw of Shea Terra Organics African Lemongrass Black Soap Elixir. So far we love this, it smells amazing and really cleans out your pores for a squeaky clean face feeling! *this was sent to us to review*


  1. This is probably my favorite post by you so far. I love the mini-reviews, but more importantly, I love your alternatives. I'd like to see this more often! Whether it's samples or full-size products you're trying out, this is a great way to review and recommend at the same time!

  2. Thanks Jeannie...I will remember that! We love comments like that so we know what to write...what else do you like?



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