As much as I try and live by the ‘treat yo self’ motto, we all know it’s not always feasible to spend money on new releases or trying every product that tickles our fancy. I’m living on quite a tight budget at the moment, as are a lot of us, which often translates to only buying necessities or replacing products as they run out, rather than growing my collection.
In the past I’ve tried one off beauty boxes (such as the Glamour Summer Edit and the Limited Edition Nars Glossybox) but I’ve yet to bite the bullet and subscribe to a monthly service – mainly because I can’t choose the products, and when money is tight I can’t risk receiving things I might not like or use. (Although tbh, if I were to sign up to a monthly subscription, I think I’d choose My Little Box because they always look so lovely!).
Since beauty subscriptions are off the table, samples from counters are hard to come by, and buying £30 foundations without knowing if they’ll work for my skin not being a hobby of mine (funnily enough), you can imagine how chuffed I was to stumble into Feel Unique’s Pick n Mix service when I read this post by Makeup Savvy.
The ‘pick n mix’ service allows you to choose five product samples and only pay £3.95 for postage. Unlike subscription boxes, there are some very high end brands to choose from (HELLO Charlotte Tilbury), and you can also choose the samples rather than receiving a random selection.
So lets dive in to the products I chose and what I thought of them…
Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation
I’ve only tried two CT products in the past, both of which I absolutely love (the Filmstar Bronze & Glow palette and the eyeshadow quad in ‘Golden Goddess’ if you’re wondering). I’ve always wanted to explore more of their range, but with a high price point that hasn’t been something I’ve been able to do recently, so you can imagine how pleased I was to be able to get my hands on THREE CT samples to test!
This foundation was nice, as the name would suggest it offers a light coverage that is very comfortable to wear. I found the formula worked well with my dry skin, sitting nicely on my face without settling onto drier patches or into fine lines. It didn’t last as long as I would have hoped, but of course being a sample I didn’t get to try it with too many different primer/brush/sponge/setting spray combinations, so who knows if that was my application or the product itself.
Would I repurchase? I’m honestly torn. Whilst I did like the product, I wasn’t completely blown away by it, nor did it do anything exceptional that my trusty Rimmel Match Perfection £8 foundation can’t. But it was a nice foundation and I was impressed with how hydrated my skin looked, it also didn’t oxidise on my skin like the Rimmel one can be prone to. When I’m not on a tight budget I’ll probably purchase this product, but right now it’s not something I’ll be rushing out to buy.
Charlotte Tilbury Mini Miracle Eye Wand
Oh hello there NEW FAVOURITE PRODUCT. This product is a 2-in-1, with a hydrating eye cream and a peach toned under eye corrector/concealer. In the past I’ve stuck to the Bobbi Brown Corrector when it comes to under eye circles, and honestly I always liked that product. It’s only now when I’ve branched out and tried something new that I’ve actually realised how heavy the Bobbi Brown corrector really is. It doesn’t cake under the eyes, but it’s not always comfortable to wear and it can be awkward to apply.
BUT THIS BABY, this Charlotte Tilbury eye wand is a dream. It’s SO light and hydrating, super easy to apply and blend, doesn’t cake at all, and is just beautiful both in terms of how it looks and how it feels on the skin.
Would I repurchase? YES. Yes, yes, a million times yes. For me this is a product I didn’t know was missing from my life/make up collection, but now I honestly don’t know what I’ll do without it when the sample runs out. And if that doesn’t scream ‘run out to Selfridges immediately and worry about your phone bill another day’, I don’t know what does.
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation
I’ve heard SO many good things about this foundation, especially when it comes to drier skin, but I wasn’t impressed with it at all. Granted, I probably didn’t give it the fairest trial – I poured the entire sample onto my hand before realising it was way too much for one application, in someone else’s house without a little pot to decant the rest into, in a rush about to run out of the door to catch a train. I also got soaking wet that day and returned home looking like a drowned rat.
So based purely on first impressions, I wasn’t a huge fan. Maybe it’s the word ‘magic’, maybe it’s the glowing reviews this foundation gets across the entire internet, but I just wasn’t WOW’ed. I was expecting the same feeling as when I went to the Bare Minerals counter to try on their Complexion Rescue Gel/Balm/Foundation (whatever it’s classed as!). The reaction, by the way, was something along the lines of JESUS CHRIST I LOOK SO GOOD RIGHT NOW, I DIDN’T KNOW MY FACE COULD ACTUALLY LOOK THIS GOOD, TAKE MY MONEY IMMEDIATELY.
And I know that reaction is setting the bar pretty high for future foundation purchases, of course it is. But it’s the reaction I expected I’d get from trying the Magic Foundation, which I didn’t. It was fine to leave the house in, but I wasn’t amazed, and I didn’t have the chance to take note on its longevity/oxidisation/how it settles on dry skin a few hours in because Manchester rain.
Would I repurchase? No. It was fine, but I’m not rushing out to repurchase ‘fine’! I honestly think without all the hype I’d probably like this product more, but it had been built up so much that ultimately it just didn’t meet my expectations.
Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Cream
I’ve mentioned before how much I bloody love Kiehl’s as a brand (see The Product That Saved My Skin in a Week, Expensive Products That Are Worth It, Products I Loved Enough To Repurchase #2, and I’ve Finally Found An Everyday Skincare Routine That Works), so it’s no surprise to you that I’m always keen to try more from them.
I’ll be upfront, this product didn’t wow me. It’s marketed as an anti-aging product that smoothes out wrinkles, firms skin, and refines the texture of the skin. Whilst there’s no doubt it’s a lovely product that moisturises the skin and leaves it feeling soft and hydrated, I’m probably not the right audience for a product like this and so I didn’t find it did anything AMAZING to my skin… but at the same time I don’t have wrinkles and lines that need correcting yet (touch wood!).
Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micellar Water
SUCH a cult product, this Bioderma Micellar Water basically started the Micellar trend which has seen almost every skincare brand release their own version over the past few years. Whilst I try and stick to a regular skincare routine and properly cleanse my face every morning and night, I do have a bottle of the Garnier Micellar water firmly on my dressing table for the occasional lazy morning/evening/make up mistake. I was keen to try out the ‘original’ cult product and see if it’s actually worth the £10-for-250ml price tag.
I found this product gentle on my skin, it removed makeup well, and my skin felt clean and fresh afterwards. I think it handled eye make up slightly better than the £5 Garnier dupe, but in all honesty there really wasn’t much difference between the two products.
Would I repurchase? No. It was nice to use, but I just can’t see how it’s worth the £10 price tag. There was nothing wrong with it, but it also didn’t do anything drastically different to it’s lower priced competitors.