Reviews, Skincare

Raiding the Sample Stash – Moisturizers

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Moisturizer empties

A while ago (a month? two months? who knows?) I finally scraped the last tiny bit out of my FAB Ultra Repair Cream and made a decision – time to try something new. Not because there’s anything wrong with it. I like it, I’ve bought it more times than I’ve bothered to keep track of, but there’s just so much stuff out there that I haven’t tested yet. Plus I had quite a few moisturizers in my hoarded goo samples box, and I was starting to feel a little guilty about it. Sooo now that I’ve emptied a few, I’ll go ahead and just word-vomit some thoughts about them.

Algenist Genius Ultimate Anti-Aging Creme – The texture of this was pretty nice. Fairly light, and absorbed quickly. I was able to wear it under makeup with no issues, but I didn’t feel like it kept my skin hydrated enough all day, and I prefer something a little heavier at night. I actually didn’t look at the product page until just now, and at $110/20z, I don’t see myself buying this, ever.

Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief – I liked my Sephora sample of this, so I went ahead and bought the mini size to try out. The tiny little tube lasted several weeks of daytime wear. It soaks in incredibly fast and has a very light texture. Unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough for the unseasonably cold weather we were having at the time so I decided to keep looking. I feel like it might be great for summer though, so I may revisit it. The price ($52/2.5oz) is slightly more reasonable than the Algenist one.

Darphin STIMULSKIN Plus Multi-Corrective Divine Cream – Average in every way, is the only way I can describe it. The texture isn’t heavy or especially light; it takes a few minutes to soak in, but not too long; I don’t recall it having a strong scent. It did a good job of moisturizing, but I had to pick my eyeballs up off the floor when I looked it up online. I didn’t think it was all that special without knowing anything about it, but yeah. For $295/1.7oz, I’d definitely give this one a pass.

Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Creme – This was my favorite out of this round of moisturizer samples. I used up two sachets of it and decided it was worth testing a bit more, so I grabbed the .5oz travel jar ($16.50). The texture is a bit thin, it doesn’t leave a greasy residue and it soaks up in just a couple minutes. On a couple especially cold days I did notice that my chin was a little dry by the end of the day, but I think this one will be really nice for spring & summer when dryness isn’t a problem for me. I prefer something a little heavier for nighttime though. The only oddness – it smells like cucumbers and celery seed. I actually like it, but it’s definitely an unusual scent.

Guinot Hydra Beaute Moisturizing Cream – Bleh. So this stuff definitely works really well as a night moisturizer, but I wasn’t a fan. It’s heavy, a bit greasy and it has a really strong floral scent. Like, REALLY strong. It did keep my skin nice and soft, but every time I used this when I woke up the next morning my face had that feeling it gets when I wake up from napping while I’m sick – just very oily and unpleasant. Even though the price isn’t totally outrageous (well, compared to a couple of the others – $49/1.7oz) I feel ok about crossing this off my list.

Chanel Le Lift Firming Anti-Wrinkle Creme – Another big NOPE. It wasn’t as heavily scented as I would have expected a Chanel product to be (why must everything reek of roses?), and the texture was thin and light. Sounds fine, right? Except minutes after I put it on, my face felt even drier than before. As it turns out, the second ingredient in the list is alcohol (as in the rubbing alcohol kind). Wtf Chanel? I can wreck my skin for much less than $165/1.7oz. Maybe it would be great if your skin isn’t easily dehydrated, but I only used it twice before I gave up and went back to my Fresh moisturizer. 

Overall, my votes definitely go to the Fresh and Clinique moisturizers. A full size jar of the Fresh one might make its way into my cabinet, or I might rummage through my samples to see what other goodies (or baddies) are hiding in there.


  1. Erin

    March 30, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    All rather pricey picks! I was most curious at the Darphin one – it’s just so expensive – not sure if I can justify buying anything without loving a sample first. Nice that the travel sizes are available for most, too. Lovely reviews, thanks!!

    Erin | Erin and Katherine Talk Beauty

  2. Joyce (bronzerbunny)

    April 3, 2015 at 2:29 am

    I don’t care for the scent of that fresh cream, which is weird haha. Nice job using all that up!!

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