The Sample Stash

Another highlight of the Sephora experience is of course leaving the checkout armed with free samples to try before you buy. If you're ordering internationally then you'll have to skip over the perfume vials but there are plenty of beauty and skincare goodies on offer as well. Here's what made its way into a couple of my recent Sephora orders. There's mini reviews and purchasing verdicts to cast your eyes over as well..

Make Up For Ever HD Pressed Powder-This powder is designed to soften the appearance of fine lines and pores. I kept it in my bag for the times when things began to look a bit too sheeny. This powder really made such a difference! Shine was kept at bay much longer and it left my skin looking much smoother. Purchase? If you're after a new powder for touch up then you should check this out. I personally prefer my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder over this one but it is still a great alternative.

Dior Addict Fluid Stick, various shades-My favourite sample. It arrived packaged like the actual fluid sticks themselves and contained four sample shades to try. I tried the shade Wonderland, a gorgeous pink toned red. These are pretty pigmented but it is also easy to build up the colour to the intensity you want it to be. These don't feel overly sticky on the lips and last well. I'm looking forward to trying the other colours. Purchase? If you're feeling particularly spendy, absolutely. They are definitely one of my favourite lipgloss-lipstick hybrids. 

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara-Now this wasn't exactly a free sample as such but this mascara was one I had been wanting to try so it made its way into a recent Sephora order. This won't make your lashes look thicker but it is perfect for lengthening and separating. Like Tarte's other mascaras this one is also super long-wearing. Purchase? I have a few mascaras on the go at the moment but once they bite the dust I know this one will be tempting me.

Murad Clarifying Wipes For Blemish-Prone Skin-As a devoted reader of Caroline Hirons blog, wipes are an item I tend to steer clear of. A wipe targeted at blemish prone skin though really got my attention. The first thing I noticed about these though was that they smell awful, I ran to bin this after using it! The wipes leave your skin feeling slightly tingly too so if you have sensitive skin these may be too much for you. How did it perform though? The next day my blemishes were considerably less noticeable. In fact they were almost totally gone. Purchase? These are surprisingly not too pricy so if you're having issues with blemishes then maybe give these a go. 

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm-BB creams are something that I tend to avoid, mainly because I find they leave my combination skin looking oily rather than dewy. This Urban Decay offering is oil free so I was intrigued. It comes in one universal shade which almost seems to colour correct and adapt to your skintone. It has more of a satin finish to it and is neither too dewy or too matte. I found this really long wearing, especially once set with powder. One thing to note is that it seemed to have a bit of a minty scent to it, which I found quite bizarre to be honest but it doesn't linger. Purchase? If you're a fan of BB creams and want something that won't leave you looking too shiny and has a reasonable amount of coverage, then you'll like this. Don't be scared at how orange the cream looks. It does adjust once on the skin to match your skintone. 

Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Eye Concentrate-You may have seen this in one of my The Week posts a couple of weeks back because I loved trying this out. This eye cream is quite thick but it sinks in well and you aren't left with any residue in the morning. It contains noni juice which is apparently super effective in skincare. You'll be left with no signs of puffiness or a lack of sleep the next morning. It's love quite simply. Purchase? Again, something to reach for if you're feeling spendy. I won't personally pick this up because it is quite pricy. It is super effective though so if you can get a sample you should try it out.

Bare Minerals Original Foundation-Sephora often have exclusive samples available to their Beauty Insiders and this happened to be on offer when I made my last order. I opted for the shade light which is actually the fourth lightest shade. With mineral foundations I often find that they end up being too dark for me. This shade was ever so slightly too dark but once I blended it out that became less obvious. I loved the finish of this foundation and found it really long lasting. Purchase? No, mainly because I am not a huge fan of powder foundations. If you are a fan though and want to try this, go get colour matched before you buy it. In my experience powder foundations tend to run darker so perhaps try going a shade or two down from what you would usually wear.

*Have you tried any of these products before? Which were your favourites?

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