I have a shitty skin, if you allow my expression. Dry, dull, super sensitive, intolerant and acne prone. Say with me: " yay!" (one has to cheer up as one can).

So I'm always looking for what's next and asking for samples, whether it is skincare or makeup, I'm forever in the quest of the perfect product. At one point I realized I have such a huge amount of samples that I started taking simple notes of the ones I try: brand, name of the product and if I like why, or if I don't like it why not (I'm getting old and I forget things). I've seen I'm almost finishing a notebook with those notes on my first impressions of products and I though:  This is totally good material to share with you!

So let's dive in the ocean of samples and testers, shall we?

Not to overwhelm you (this is serious) I have selected six products to start "sample reviewing": 2 serums, 2 primers and 2 foundations.

Lancôme Energie de vie. The Soothing and glow boosting liquid care.

Sample: 1 ml, it was enough for two uses.
Main ingredients: Melissa leaves, goji berries, gentian. It has phenoxyethanol.
Claim: antioxidant, hydrating, energising
scented: yes

The latest launched of Lancôme! It's an all-in-one skincare product for the day. Its texture is very liquidy and lightweight, like a serum. It takes a while to sink in, after application the skin feels a bit tacky for few minutes. But once it finally sets:wonderful. It feels very comfortable and hydrating on its own, the skin feels moisturized all day, and the complexion looks immediatly more radiant (without adding extraproducts) I was pleasantly surprised. This is a perfect candidate to be taken on a summer trip or holiday, you won't need anything else but your sunprotection.

My first impression is: great! I need to get the full size.

Clinique Smart Custom Serum

Sample: 1.5 ml, it was enough for three uses.
Main ingredients: Mulberry roots extract, plankton, lots of peptides, and plants (wheat, soybean, grape, cucumber, etc) and loads of dimethicone (3rd in the list)
Claim: custom repair serum
Scented: no

This one has been around for a while, but still I wanted to try it. It has a nice milky texture. On application, it quickly sinks in, leaving skin immediately soft. It feels comfortable and looks nice under makeup. I noticed right away a change on my pores, they seemed smaller. Overall complexion looks luminous. No other changes noticed in the short time I tested.

My first impression is good!

Monu First defence Illuminating primer SPF 15

Sample: Deluxe size 20ml, I used it 7 times and there is still plenty.
Main ingredients: Cassia alata leaf extract, black currant seed oils, vitamin E, zinc oxide. It doesn't show the rest of the ingredients.
Scented: yes

This is an all-in-one moisturizer, primer and sun protection. Its texture is that of a light cream, a bit firm (I assume it is silicon based). It sinks in fast. I first applied this "incorrectly". I used it as any other primer, after my skincare and before my foundation. BUT it says to "gently massage onto clean skin". I used it on its own, on clean skin under makeup. The complexion looks instantly smooth, soft and luminous. It does a neat job as a primer, under 3 different foundations that I've tried (YSL Fusion ink, Bourjois Healthy mix, MAC Waterweight). I find is not hydrating enough throughout the day for my dry skin feels uncomfortable after 8+ hours. However, I've tried it again over my usual hydrating serum and I liked it a lot better.

My first impression is: good. I'll consider it as a pretty good brightening primer, maybe more suitable for combination skin.

MAC Prep + Prime Natural radiance 

Sample: custom from MAC counter, I assume 7ml aprox. I've been using it for 10 days now.
Claims: specifical for oily and combination skin, provides long-term hydration, controls oil, improves radiance, refines skin, silicon-free
Scented: no

It has a creamy texture, I applied it as a normal primer and the skin look instantly smoother, brighter, juicy. It makes any makeup (I tested it with 5 different foundations: (YSL Fusion ink, Bourjois Healthy mix, MAC Waterweight, Diorskin Air Serum de teint, Max Factor Skin Luminazer) and it delivered everytime. I used it for an day long event and my skin and makeup looked glowing for the whole day.

My first impression is: great! I will put this on my wish list.

Max Factor Skin Luminizer

Sample: 3ml, I've used it three times
Ingredients: It contains Talc, PEG/PPG-18, Mica, Phenoxyethanol.
Scented: no

The shade I got (the only available in sample size) is not the right for me (too dark). Nevertheless I manage to use this foundation 3 times. A little goes a long way. It has a creamy texture, rather thick, but it applies nicely (better with sponge). It feels a little tacky at first but when it sets it has a beautiful juicy finish and looks very natural. It has a nice medium coverage and leaves the skin visibly more luminous. It is longlasting in my bookg, 10 hours perfectly put on my dry skin. It performs beautifully with a good primer.

My first impression is : good drugstore candidate for dry and/or mature skin.

MAC Waterweight foundation

Sample: custom from MAC counter, I assume 7ml aprox. I've used it 5 times.
Claims: Provides comfortable, all-day wear, provides instant and all-day hydration, controls oil, offers broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 30, provides stay-true colour, non-caking and streak-resistant
for all skin types, non-acnegenic.

I am only going to say: this foundation lives up to all the claims and NC20 is a perfect match for me.

My first impression: HOLY COW! this is my next foundation (as soon as I finish the 789'906 that I've already opened)


Ok! you see, there is so much that can be said about these little tiny samples! Of course, these are just "first impressions" in the sense with the amount of product in a sample you can get some idea of the products -which is better than no idea at all- but not the whole picture, like their efficacity and performance in the long run. But it is not bad for a start!

What about you? what have you been trying lately? Do you get samples of products to test? Are you curious about new things or just stick to your staples? Let me know everything in the comments!!


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