Soliloquy noun \sə-ˈli-lə-kwē\

: a long, usually serious speech that a character in a play makes to an audience and that reveals the character’s thoughts

I decided to start a series in which I (finally) review the (copious amounts of) samples I’ve procured from Sephora (among other places), so it seemed a fitting title. 🙂

DSC_1491 Finding a good use for my empty Birchbox boxes. 😉

(In order to keep track of all my samples, I’ve started to write the names on the top in Sharpie and then using Scotch tape on top to keep it from smearing. I figure if I ever buy the full size, I can refill the sample size and use it for traveling.)

I’m going to use my first entry to discuss the collection of skincare items that, along with the Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil, I credit for helping to clear up my face after the Liz Earle Incident. Which means, yes, I like them, and, yes, I would purchase the full-size items. (And intend to!)

I’ve read about Ren Skincare everywhere, so when I saw that Sephora had the whole line, I grabbed a few items to try. And, boy, am I glad I did.

DSC_1492 The heroes of the day.

My first pick was the Ren Hydra Calm Cleansing Milk. I specifically chose this because it’s for sensitive skin and I thought my skin was upset enough as it was. I chose this over the gel since, as I’ve said, everything I’m reading these days is saying that any kind of gel or foaming cleanser is bad for you. So I started using this after taking off my makeup with Bioderma Crealine H2O. It smells nice, it feels gentle on the skin—almost like you’re not even putting anything on your skin, which is good for upset skin—and then using the muslin cloth from the Liz Earle kit and hot water to remove it. I put the hot cloth over my face for a few seconds, and then I gently scrub wipe off.

Once things started to clear up after using the Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil, I introduced the Ren ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser. I didn’t want to overstrip or overdry my skin with the clay, so I only used that at night, and continued with the Hydra Calm in the morning. But I have to say that this feels plenty milky as well. It does smell clay-like, and I also remove it with the muslin cloth and hot water.

After that, I used the Ren Resurfacing AHA Concentrate. This is to help brighten and clear your complexion, with acidic exfoliators. This is especially good for helping to get rid of the marks that zits leave on your face. Which I know firsthand.

Then I use the Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil. On top of that, I’ve been using the Ren ClearCalm 3 Replenishing Night Serum. This helps treat the pimples and also helps with the redness and marks. (You only use the Resurfacing AHA Concentrate for 7 days at a time, so this works in the interim.) It’s amazing to wake up in the morning and literally see that your skin looks better.

(I’ve had a deluxe-sized sample of the Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask for a while, so I’ve thrown that in once a week as well to help fade the red marks and discoloration. [I did not receive this one from Sephora. I don’t even remember where it came from!] Especially since Lisa Eldridge mentioned her love of lactic acid treatments for exfoliation.)

Then, rounding out the sample saviors, is Origins Make A Difference Plus + Rejuvenating Treatment (the oil-free one). I mentioned I was liking the Ole Henriksen Vitamin Plus moisturizer sample I got, but the Origins pulled ahead in the end. I’m almost embarrassed to say that I’ve gotten samples of this about 7 times now, since I can’t be without it. It feels so nice on the skin, it feels perfectly hydrated, and it smells amazing. I don’t get over oily from using it, and my skin has really turned around over the last few weeks. (Although I do find that if I use the acid exfoliators during the day, it does overstimulate the oil production in my skin, and I get oilier, so I don’t use it during the day.)

These are just in place of those things I was previously using. I’m still using the same toners. You’re probably wondering why I didn’t just go back to my old cleansing routine after the Liz Earle didn’t work out. I am, too, but I am trying to take to heart the urging not to use foaming/gel cleansers, and both of the ones I was using fell under that category. Also, this stuff has really been working and I haven’t paid for it (yet). :p So…

And now my skin is looking so much better and I’m grateful.

Next time, I’ll discuss some of the makeup samples I’ve gotten.

Have you tried any of these products? Are you sampling anything from Sephora lately?

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9 comments on “Samples Soliloquy #1”

  1. I have noticed a trend with the names of all the skin care products you mentioned here and in other posts.

    Their names are really long and complicated! I mean, I guess competition is so fierce these days that products have to scream out their specialness in their names, but wow, if I had to remember all those names when I walked into a store I would have a hard time keeping them straight, and then finding them also 😉

    • Haha, it's not fancy, but it works! And it gets rid of those little plastic bags they come in.

      It really did wonders for my skin, I'd definitely recommend it!

  2. Resourceful organization methods! I think I might start labeling all of my samples and keeping them in a box. You know what would be a good idea? Storing a little bit of multiple foundations in those sample jars to be able to mix shades for a custom foundation. That way, you wouldn't have to buy a knew foundation every time you got a tan or the season changed!
    Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Resourceful is one way to put it! 😉 I was just tired of all the little bags cluttering everything up, ha. And that's a good idea, too! I do have some foundation samples in that box as well. Although, I'm so sun paranoid and so pale, my skin color stays the same shade all year round, so I guess I'm luck? Glad to help!

      And I saw on your blog that you're going to study abroad in Paris! I'm so super envious. I wish I had done something like that when I was in school. You're going to have the best time! x

  3. Guess I should start going to Sephora more often… With my sensitive skin trying new things always is a gamble and their sample policy sounds generous these days. Not sure why but I never walked out with samples from them when I shopped their in past, mmmhhh
    Love to get foundation match done and try it for a little before committing to full size…

    • I'm lucky in that my skin just breaks out but isn't sensitive. And, yes, Sephora's sampling policy singlehandedly got me through my unemployment! All you have to do is ask and they'll give you a sample. I've walked up to one of their staff with a handful of 3 or 4 items and asked for samples.

      I'd worry about recommending skincare, but Ren has a sensitive skin line, and I've loved their stuff so far!

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