For the new year, I didn’t set myself any life goals/resolutions as such apart from a few beauty resolutions which I shared here. One of my blogging resolutions however was to start a brand new Sample Stash series where I share reviews or first impressions of sample sized or full sized products which I have received either in beauty boxes, gift with purchases or are items I purchased.
I don’t have a set schedule of how often I’m going to do these posts but I am going to aim for at least once a month as I get a lot of sample sized or deluxe travel sized products and they never get seen on my blog again so I thought this would be a good way to tell you my thoughts on them. I thought I would also include products which I haven’t wanted to do a standalone post on but still want to report back on my thoughts within my Sample Stash posts so I’m hoping it’s going to be a good mixture of products including makeup, skincare, haircare and bodycare.
Living Proof Healthy Hair 5-in-1 Styling Treatment (full size product is 118ml and retails for £24)
There are a couple of Living Proof products within this Sample Saturday and I got them both as part of my Latest In Beauty subscription (which I have now cancelled) and I chose them both as I’ve never tried anything from Living Proof until now but I’ve heard such amazing things. The Living Proof Healthy Hair 5 in 1 Styling Treatment is an oil and silicone free hair treatment which provides volume, smoothness, conditioning, strength, and polish in one easy step, and the formula claims to provide heat protection, UV protection, and static control.
I can’t believe I waited so long to try this product as it’s amazing but you do have to use it sparingly as it can overload the hair very easily so I like to apply around a 20 pence sized amount at a time and add a little more if necessary. I apply it to damp, towel-dried hair and it works as a detangler which was a nice surprise as I didn’t expect it to.
My favourite thing about the styling treatment is that it allows my thick, fine hair to hold a curl or style which is virtually unheard of for my hair as it always tends to drop its style after three or four hours. It also works amazingly at smoothing my hair’s flyaways as well as making my hair feel conditioned and healthy. This is only a 60ml size but I really do think it’s going to last me for at least six months as such a small amount of product is needed.
Living Proof Instant Texture Mist (full size is 143ml £23)
The Instant Texture Mist is described as being a weightless mist to create any textured style in as little as 10 seconds, from long-lasting beachy to bedhead and everything in between, and is powered by a three-dimensional technology containing magnetic texturizers plus Living Proof’s patented volumizing molecule, PBAE.
According to Sephora “this genius combination delivers the perfect balance of body, definition, and separation for instantly effortless hair that’s actually effortless to create. In as little as 10 seconds, you’ll see a long-lasting, tousled style with no stickiness or stiffness”. I usually love texture sprays or salt sprays so I knew I had to try it especially as it was a 50ml size which was pretty generous.
I tried the 5 in 1 Styling Treatment before this mist and I had high hopes but I just don’t think it’s anything special sadly. I use it in my damp hair and scrunch it through and it does leave my hair slightly tousled and texturised but it’s no better than my other texturising sprays which are all considerably cheaper than this one and it leaves my hair feel slightly sticky unfortunately. I really like the scent of this one, but it doesn’t wow me like the Styling Treatment did but it doesn’t put me off trying other Living Proof products.
Lanolips 101 Ointment (full size is 15g £10.99)
I’ve used a couple of Lanolips products before but never the 101 Ointment so it was another product I chose as part of my Latest in Beauty subscription. The Lanolips 101 Ointment is described as a super dense balm which seals in moisture and can be used for extremely dry lips, skin patches, cuticles & many more. It contains no artificial fragrances, parabens, petrolatum, PEG’s, mineral oil or sulfates, holds 200% of its weight in moisture and is multi-award winning too.
The tube feels very hard and stiff at first so you have to warm it between your palms before use or it’s almost impossible to squeeze any balm from the tube. After warming the tube between my palms for around a minute, the tube becomes a little softer and the balm squeezes a lot a little easier but due to the nature of the product it’s still very thick.
The ointment is a thick, clear, odourless balm and a little goes a very long way and I like that any excess ointment left after applying to the lips can be simply massaged into the cuticles. Once applied to the lips, it does leave them feeling quite ‘slippery’ so it wouldn’t make the best base for lipstick but it does work nicely as an overnight lip treatment.
I have to say I don’t love the slippery, thick consistency but it’s definitely effective so if the thickness and slippery texture wouldn’t bother you, it’s well worth a try but it’s not something I’d repurchase as for me it’s just too thick.
MAC In Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash (full size 13ml £19)
I’ve only ever tried one of the MAC Mascaras previously which is the MAC Extended Play Gigablack Lash Mascara which I liked but wasn’t blown away by, but I got this sample of the MAC In Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash Mascara in my MAC order which I purchased with MAC vouchers from my best friend Laura for Christmas.
MAC describe the formula as being lightweight and whipped with “intense blacker than black pigment saturates lashes root to tip, adds volume, extends length and creates curl, while conditioning for softness and flexibility”. The final result: extreme dimension that won’t smudge, clump or flake. Exclusive mega brush designed to apply optimal amount of mascara.
The brush on this mascara is pretty big, with lots of small, medium and longer length plastic bristles all over the sides and tip of the brush so you can use it on the upper and lower lashline and catch every lash. I didn’t expect very much from this mascara at all as the bristles looked covered in product but I like how lengthening the formula is and that it actually adds a curl to my otherwise pathetic excuse for lashes. I don’t know how long this tiny sample will last me but I really wouldn’t be adverse to purchasing the full size as I really like it.
Alpha H Liquid Gold (full size 100ml £33.50)
I have a fair few samples of the Alpha H Liquid Gold which I’ve tried a couple of times but never long enough to form a solid opinion. The Alpha H Liquid Gold contains Glycolic Acid and is designed specifically for the treatment and reduction of minor skin complaints. “The complex formula consists of glycolic acid, recognised for its rejuvenating qualities combined with the soothing and softening properties of liquorice root extract. Together these gently stimulate the production of collagen whilst creating a complexion that is lighter, clearer, and more even.”
To use Liquid Gold the directions recommend applying to freshly cleansed skin every other night with a cotton pad to face, neck and décolletage avoiding the eyes and following with a moisturiser once the skin is dry. After trying Liquid Gold exclusively, I am kicking myself for not using it sooner as it’s considerably more effective that the Pixi Glow Tonic and my holy grail Clinique Clarifying Lotion which is something I never thought I’d say.
It gently exfoliates the top layer of my skin for a smoother, more even texture with my skin looking clearer and overall a lot brighter. It really is a super hyped product and after trying it for just under two weeks, I definitely can say I love it but obviously with skincare two weeks isn’t enough to know for sure but my first impressions are very positive and I’m now deciding which other Alpha H products I need to purchase as the Liquid Gold is so brilliant.
So that’s the end of my Sample Stash #1. I really hope you liked it and would please let me know if you’d like to see more Sample Stash posts in the future because I obviously won’t do them if you don’t like them 😆
All products featured on Gemma Etc. are PR samples or gifted items, unless otherwise indicated. This post may contain affiliate links. If you wish to find out more, please see my Disclaimer within my navigation bar.