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A Peek Into My Sample Stash

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I wrote a post a while ago talking about my issues with hoarding and why I didn’t like using minis or finishing products.


When I thought about it, it’s quite heavily to do with my general hoarding tendencies which will take more than a blog post to sort. I realised that I had all these samples of brilliant products sitting waiting to be used and I had no idea whether I was gonna love them or loathe them.


So in sorting out my office-come-makeup space, I incorporated all of the minis I hadn’t used with samples and when I saw the sheer volume I had a bit of a start. Obviously as we haven’t been able to get away I haven’t been able to use any at all – I’d usually take a sample serum and primer away with me.

I mentioned on Instagram this week that I’d share some of the brands that I discovered through beauty boxes, but I wanted to extend this to the samples I’ve received through the Glamour Beauty Club and the millions of sample pages I subscribe to on Facebook.


The Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi Usage Dry Oil was a product from one of my first Look Fantastic Beauty Boxes; I’d heard of, but never used Nuxe before always thinking it was a bit too high end. I wasn’t wrong, this dry oil is one of the most luxurious products I’ve put on my face.


It feels like silk and has such a lovely fragrance – it’s my go-to for giving my skin a proper pamper and a little really goes a long way. It can be used on body and hair too, but I haven’t tried it out.


I think this is probably a product I’d repurchase, it’s £29.50 for 100ml and like I said – it lasts forever. You can save 15% when spending £80 using the code BEAUTY15


This is a brand that’s completely new to me, the Lanolips Face Base Vitamin E Day Cream came in one of the ASOS Beauty Boxes that are released monthly. I have used this a couple of times but not regularly.


Any product that’s formulated for dry skin is generally an immediate winner in my book, it’s designed to emulate your skins own natural oils without being overly greasy or causing skin congestion. I can’t say for certain whether or not I’d repurchase but I’ve certainly enjoyed using. You can pick a 60ml tube of this up for £20.


Espa Pink Hair Scalp Mud. For fear of sounding like a broken record, this too was a recent inclusion in the Look Fantastic Beauty Box. Rich in minerals that conditions to leave hair soft and smooth – this scalp mud works to promote healthier hair and can also be used on the body.


I haven’t used this as yet due to my ongoing issues with hair loss, but have heard so many great reviews of this that I can’t wait to see it. I’m thinking that the next time I have a pamper night I might get this involved.

£34 for 180ml


Origins GinZing Into The Glow Brightening Serum, exclusive to Boots, I received a sample of this in the post and as it’s so dinky I haven’t tried it out yet. However currently Boots are running a deal whereby purchasing this and another product you get a free gift. Even just from the description I’m pretty temped, I won’t lie.


The serum promises to brighten dull skin, infused with Vitamin C and Origins’ 5% Skin Renewing Complex it aims to smooth skin and reduce the look of pores. Eh, hello effortlessly flawless skin!


The 5% Skin-Renewing Complex uses Green Coffee Seed to support skin’s natural enzymes and boost cell turnover. The Hyaluronic Acid in the formula helps to plump skin, and it’s recommended that the serum is patted into skin as pilling can occur as the product begins to lift away dead skin.

This retails at £39 for 30ml.

Mac Strobe Cream. As a teenager I always remember MAC being THE brand to buy, like if you weren’t wearing MAC foundation why even bother? Now that I can afford products more high-end than Maxfactor, I don’t have as much in the way of MAC products, but what I do have I really like.


I got this as a sample in an online order but had tried it out before and I’m a fan.

It hydrates, illuminates and improves the appearance of skin with its iridescent particles. Not only is a multi-acting product, it’s a quick fix. The Strobe Cream can be used on it’s own, under foundation or as a highlighter.


A little goes a long way with this, and 50ml is just £26 so you’ll be sorted for a while.


Too Faced Hangover Primer. So, this is where I admit to keeping products for years and not paying attention to expiries – I’M SORRY!


I got a sample of this in the Debenhams Beauty Advent Calender two years ago, and I didn’t use it straight away as Too Faced wasn’t a brand I knew of, so was a little weary of. 2018 Lucy was such a nerd, nowadays I’ll jump straight in and try anything!


When I saw that Boots stocked Too Faced I figured I’d give it a go and tried it out and really liked it. But given that I was – and still am – such a hoarder, I never went back to it consistently. While I’m now dreaming of weekends away to use up samples, I always wanted to keep them safe in their box. How silly of me.


I do like this, it really lives up to the hangover description – you know when you wake up with a mouth like a desert and all you need is a can of Lilt? I KNOW it’s not just me. This is it, but for skin. It’s hydrating and smoothing so covers a multitude of sins. You can thank me later.


You can pick this up for £26 in a 40ml tube.

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% & Zinc 1% High Strength Vitamin and Mineral Blemish Formula. Okay, so this is a product I have a weird relationship with. This came in a beauty box, ans I actually subscribed to it because I knew it would be included.


I had seen so many people talking about how great this is for helping to improve the look of pores and clear them out – I have a magnifying mirror and an extraction kit and I’d count them among my best friends. Unfortunately this means I do spend a significant amount of time squeezing shit from my face. Mainly my nose.


If I don’t keep on top of exfoliating I get terrible blocked pores due to a build up of sebum. As my lovely husband told me on holiday in Croatia where I’d been a little lax in my approach to my skin “You’re nose looks like a wee strawberry”. I should have called for a divorce really.


I use this maybe twice a week as my skin doesn’t seem to tolerate it particularly well. I apply on my nose and chin as they’re my worst areas and always end up with a total honker of a spot on my chin – but one of the under-the-skin ones that just hurts but doesn’t actually come to anything.


So order at your peril, but everyone else seems to adore it! For £5.30 for 30ml, it’s not the most expensive mistake to make.

The last product I’m gonna go into great detail on (cause it’s late and I’m tired) is the Smashbox Photo Finish Vitamin Glow Primer.

I think this was maybe a Glamour Beauty Club sample – if you aren’t already, get signed up cause it’s great! I had used the original Oil-Free Photo Finish Primer years ago when Smashbox first came to Boots but aside from that and their pretty innovative lipliners I hadn’t really used any of their products.


I always think that anything claiming to be ‘glowy’ is gonna make me look sweaty – and I need no help with that, thank you very much. Very much the opposite, I found this primer to be quite illuminating in the sense that my skin didn’t look as dry as it felt and helped to actually soften my skin without feeling slimy.


This is one product I can promise you I’ll purchase, It made such a difference even just on it’s own! This is £30 for 30ml.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but I'd be here for days trying to credit every thing I have - so maybe I'll come back for part two.


Have you used any of these products? I'd love to know your thoughts!

© 2020 by Lucy McOuat. 

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A Digital Content Creator from Glasgow, pushing herself outside her comfort zone and dealing with her Imposter Syndrome since 1994.