It all started with those adorable little Sephora sample jars. Had I but known a year ago that you could simply ask a sales girl to give you something for free and they’d do it—I would need a kiddie pool to store all of my wee loot in. As of now, I just learned this helpful nugget a couple of weeks ago and I have a modest collection of 8 sample jars. Not just from Sephora, either. Did you know that Clinique, M.A.C, Origins and all of those Macy’s counters will just hand you over a tiny, adorable taste of whatever product you want for FREE? I don’t know how I missed that train but I’m certainly on it now!
I needed a new moisturizer. Nothing against Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, ever—it has stood by me faithfully for years. But as I reach my late-mid-twentysomethings it has become clear (the situation is clear, not my face, or I wouldn’t have this issue…clearly) that I need more nourishing hydration.
The Pixiwoo girls recommended Embryolisse which I love, but it is a tad too rich for my oily T-zone in summer (I knew it would be, but those beauties have me so wrapped around their YouTube channel and blog they could say it’s great to use just a dab of cat shit to tint your eyebrows and I’d do it). So I went sample-jar crazy until by fortuitous luck a combination of two new moisturizers struck a chord with my face.
The first winner is Bare Minerals Purely Nourishing Moisturizer. Now I was the first person on the phone, (yes, I ordered it by phone, that’s how long ago it was), at the end of the Bare Escentuals infomercial to get my hands on the Bare Minerals starter kit with the swirl, tap, buff mineral foundation and the “handy buki” brush and all that. I gradually moved on to different products over the years, but I loved my time with Bare Minerals.
I trust Leslie (I’ve watched so many of her tutorials I feel like we’re on a first name basis) and her company to have gentle ingredients that aren’t going to irritate my irritable face. This moisturizer is packed with their proprietary ActiveSoil Complex and about 10 plant extracts from sunflower to olive, Lavender to soy. Though it isn’t oil free, it absorbs very quickly and leaves my face feeling nourished and plumped. I have definitely noticed a difference in the texture of my sometimes rough and bumpy cheeks. Overall redness has subsided as well. I mostly rub this one into my cheeks and neck at night. The tiniest bit on my cheeks does the trick in the morning but for mainly for daytime I found…
Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief. I knew I would love this but I still opted for the sample first, since the stuff is dear as gold bullion ($34 for 1.7oz, sigh). The good news is only a scant dab of Moisture Surge magically smooths and luxuriously cushions my face. You need, seriously, half as much as you are going to initially try to put on. So the jar is going to last. This one is oil-free, yet very refreshing and nourishing. It feels so light whilst still giving enough moisture. Like a splash of cool, pink water. At first glance you’ll think it’s a jar of your grandma’s cold cream but forgive the frumpy packaging and trust me. Wait, don’t trust me, just go get a sample of your own. Then, thank me.