Listen, I love the concept of having a 12 step skin care routine and a vanity filled with beautifully packaged lotions and potions to photograph, but my reality is a small space and a tight budget. I can’t afford to splurge on full size products just to try them out, so as an alternative I’ve been picking up more affordable sample sizes to work all the way through before I decide if it’s worth it to buy the full size product.
Not exactly a revolutionary idea, but if you’re on a budget I highly suggest it. I know many stores and sites allow returns no questions asked, but let’s be real I have no patience and energy to go all the way back to the mall when I don’t like something.
My first minis post is going to focus on French skincare and beauty products I’ve purchased/received recently because as we all know the French love being beautiful and they’re damn good at it.
I don’t know why fancy French water in a can is so appealing to me, but it must be the fact that when those tiny perfectly sized cool droplets of water hit my face suddenly I have no cares in the world. As long as I accept it for what it is I can move on with my life and continue to own without guilt. Judge me if you will but now that I have this magical fairy water in a can this is how I look behind my desk after difficult clients.
The packaging claims to soften and soothe red skin with silicates and a low mineral content. I personally don’t have any redness or irritation to treat regularly so I’ve been using this more as a pick me up during the day to take the place of washing my whole face with sink water, and I love it. Imagine walking through the cool mist of a waterfall on a balmy summer day, it really takes you away from reality for a second.
Now that I no longer dye my hair I am trying to be more mindful of the way that I treat it while I am growing the length out. I’m a bit of a clean freak and am guilty of shampooing my hair daily. When it was shorter it felt necessary as oil would quickly build up on the strands making my whole head feel greasy, but longer hair needs the natural oil your body produces to stay strong and moisturized. It can take some time for the scalp to adjust from over washing, so my hair will be a little extra greasy as I make the shift from washing every day to every three days.
Dry shampoo is meant to refresh your hair between washes by absorbing unnecessary oils, but most products I have used make my hair feel gritty and even dirtier than before application. After searching online for an inexpensive dry shampoo I came across reviews for the Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk. We know the French don’t fuck around when it comes to beauty products, but I am on a tight budget and picked up the mini bottle to experiment with.
This is a game changer for me. My hair feels refreshed without the gummy feeling other dry shampoos have given me. I can still only go one day between shampoos before I feel like a deep fryer but the fact I don’t feel disgusting after using this product gives me hope for when I want to go longer without shampooing. I will be repurchasing a bigger bottle, but this time to be eco friendly I will opt for the non-aerosol version which also has killer reviews.
I got this as a sample promotion from Ulta when I went to purchase a full size of the Klorane Dry Shampoo and I was instantly smitten first by the smell of this product. Ylang-Ylang is one of my all time favorite scents and the overall combination reminds me of the country side of Croatia in the summer.
Second I appreciate the purpose of this product to prevent damage caused by UV rays, salt, and chlorine. This is definitely going to come in handy for the rest of the summer when I have unlimited access to my new apartment’s pool. Since the sample is so small I can’t speak yet on how it will help my hair health, but I’m going to go ahead and purchase a full size of this product because I have been looking to replace the leave in conditioner I’ve been using which is not free of sulfates and parabens and makes my hair feel gummy after use.
Since it’s an oil I use it sparingly after washing my hair and it leaves my locks nourished and shiny after a shampooing. The full size will probably last me a while since my straight hair can’t handle too much product at once without looking extra greasy.
One of my personal skincare/beauty struggles has been lip products. I have no fucking clue what gives me dermatitis on my lips but I have gone through so many lip products in the last few years meant to heal and protect that wind up giving me a mouth rash. My go to has been Vaseline and Aquaphor, but those only seem to create a barrier and do not hydrate and treat the dryness. So I am constantly applying and reapplying these products that only temporarily soothe the issue.
I have finally found my saving grace in French drugstore brand Boiron’s lip balm. Alright, you got me! It’s not technically a sample size, but this formulae does come in a larger tube (like aquaphor) and Amazon was currently sold out of that so I opted for the lip balm instead. Boy am I smitten. This product applies smoothly and doesn’t have an overwhelming greasy feeling on my lips. I hate any lip product that is sticky enough to catch my hair in it, but I don’t have that problem with this brand. The product actually absorbs into my skin nourishing and healing to prevent more chapping. I do feel like I have to apply it consistently through out the day, but that may just be because of how prone my lips are to chapping.
Got me again! I already own this product but I got a sample of it with my last purchase and wanted to throw it in with the photoshoot. There is a small amount of joy in finishing off a bottle, so I’m working through this one now. I adore the smell, I love the way it soaks into my skin, and the shimmer that it gives my body is perfect for the summer. I will always have a bottle of this in my home but it doesn’t hurt to get a little extra for free.
Nuxe no longer sells directly in the US, but you can find their products on various international beauty sites like lookfantastic which is where I’ve been making my recent purchases.
I was excited when I received this in my last Nuxe order because I’ve been looking to try more of their products and expand my luxury french beauty collection.
Unfortunately this was a big miss for me. The smell is overpowering as a face cream and every time I’ve tried to wear it I have to wash it off because of how overwhelming the scent is. The consistency is too heavy for my normal skin and made me feel extra greasy throughout the day. This would probably fare better for someone with really dry skin I’ve opted into using this as a hand cream instead and I prefer the scent more when its not directly under my nose.
* For the sake of transparency the Amazon links above are affiliate links and purchases of the products listed help fun my blogging endeavor. If you’re inspired to buy it is much appreciated.