Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sample Session - Ulta

13 Piece Sample Set from ULTA

Hooraaaaaaay, my first Sample Session post! Aw yeah, aw yeah! ::dancedance, dancedance:: Haha, a while back I mentioned that I wanted to start up two new types of posts, one called Bag Full of Beauty, which is a haul-style product review from different store such as Sephora, Ulta, Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, etc. as well as Sample Session, which will be a shortened review of either sample sets I've received from a store with purchase or that I've accumulated over time. Samples can range is size from small foils that have maybe two uses in them, to larger travel-sized items, however since they typically ARE foils or tiny containers, I'll be keeping the review brief and ending each with a simple "Would I purchase a full-size of this?".

What I'd LIKE to do with this post is be able to not just present a short review of the products to you, the reader, but also post these when the samples are still possibly available so you can decide if you'd like to try them out for yourself! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to prepare this post fast enough, but from this post on I'll be sure to. 

This 13 Piece Sample Set I received from Ulta a few weeks back as a Gift With $40 Purchase online. The only negative thing I'll say is that it was SUPPOSED to be a 15 Piece Sample Set ::glares at Ulta::, and it seems two samples were left out, but since they were free with purchase, I really can't complain too loudly!

Ulta does have these type of Gift With Purchases often that include a cute little makeup bag, so I'll be checking in with ya'll as often as I can to let you in on them!

Now for what I received!...

Here's the makeup bag that the products came in and it's it ADORABLE!

It definitely isn't some cheap little bag, it's nicely lined on the inside with two layers on the outside, including a leopard print inner layer that shows through! I love the sizing of it, especially that it's round and generously shaped, so I can fit quite a bit in it!


"Extreme, volumizing hold. Dry-to-the-touch. Shiny finish. 24-hour hold. Proven high-humidity resistance." - kmscalifornia.com

This is my second product from KMS California Hair Stay line that I've tried! The first was in the Fall Allure Must Have box and it was their Anti-Humidity Seal Spray, which I loved! I'm a VERY picky person when it comes to hairsprays, since my hair is thin, easily weighed down, but I LOVE volume, and unfortunately, this product just didn't impress me. It's supposed to be extreme, volumizing hold, but I found it to be neither extreme/strong hold or volumizing to much extent. My hair lost it's hold within an hour of use, and fell flat for the remainder of the day. A few good things I'll say about this spray is that it did NOT make my hair crunchy at all and the smell wasn't an awful alcoholic aroma like most hairsprays have. However, regardless of how little or how much I sprayed on my hair, it just didn't give me the hold and oomph I needed!

Would I Purchase a Full-Size?  No


"Transform every shower into a sweet retreat! Nourish skin naturally with the conditioning power of Honey and Almond, rare in their ability to absorb impurities and re-hydrate dry skin. Nutrient-rich lather is loaded with antioxidants for all-over skin rejuvenation, making this sweet ingredient the perfect shower companion for every day skin renewal." - freemanbeauty.com

Again, another product's line that I've already reviewed from! I reviewed the c.Booth Honey Almond Nourishing Dry Oil Mist back in my June 2013 Glossybox and loved it, however, I love this body wash so much more! I kept smelling it over and over again trying to place exactly what it was I was detecting. My Hubby (so hilariously) said: "Well is it honey and almonds?". Hardy-har-har. No, it has a distinct fragrance that I've smelled before. Then it hit me...Madeleine Cookies! It smells JUST like them! MMMmmmmm. You may know them as French Butter Cakes. While I'm not a huge fan of the cookies themselves (you may have heard me say this before, but a dessert has to be a large percentage of chocolate for me to eat it) however, the smell of the cookies is...::sniffsniff, sniiiiiiiiiiiff:: SO good!

Ok, enough about the delicious, scrumptious, tummy rumbling aroma. I love using this body wash as well! It lathers really well, both with hands or using a loofah, but I do prefer the loofah method with this wash. A little goes a long way so you don't have to use a ton or reapply more during the wash. It left my skin smooth and nourished feeling, and although the smell didn't last the entire day, it still lightly lingered for a few hours after use!

Would I Purchase a Full-Size?  YES! Absolutely!


"A healthy toothpaste that is a pleasure to use! GO SMiLE PM® luxury toothpaste contains the fluoride you need plus delicious vanilla and lavender flavors inspired by aromatherapy. It turns your nightly brushing into a relaxing, spa-like ritual, and keeps your teeth white by removing plaque before it causes lasting discoloration." - gosmile.com

This actually came at a perfect time! I've been working on whitening my teeth starting this past month and have been doing great so far! My teeth are fairly sensitive, especially when it comes to whitening so I have to be careful with which products I use. I used Crest Whitestrips (Classic, now discontinued) when they FIRST came out back around 2001 or so and had great success with them. They definitely whitened and brightened my teeth, so a few years ago I decided to try the out again, but this time try the 3D Professional Effect set, and ooooooh no, that's when I had the WORST time with sensitivity. I only used them for 3 days when I just had to stop, my teeth hurt so much, and I was getting such awful side effects that lasted hours after I took the strips off. While my teeth aren't that yellow, but certainly not bright white, I decided to try it AGAIN this year, but use the 3D White Gentle Routine Teeth Whitening Kit this time. It worked great! It didn't whiten my teeth as much as the original Classic kit did but it still had decent results! So, I was very excited to try out a new toothpaste along with my whitening attempts.

The formula is a simple solid white paste. The fragrance and flavor is soft and slightly sweet, which is unusual for me since I typically buy strong minty smelling/tasting ones. I was really pleased to see that it contained fluoride, since that is a must-have in toothpaste for me. It's a very gentle cleanser, and although I didn't feel that it "freshened" my breath like a mint one does, it still left my mouth and teeth feeling nice and clean.

This toothpaste is recommended for use in the PM, while a similar toothpaste in the line is recommended for AM. The AM toothpaste is citrus-mint flavor. Something tells me I would have preferred that one to the Vanilla and Lavender, but I do love how there's a bright refreshing one when you wake up and a relaxing one before bed.

I didn't notice any major whitening effects, but that's not it's main purpose after all. It seems to be a bit gentler than most toothpastes, so this may be of definitely use to you if you dislike that minty strong aroma and flavor.

Would I Repurchase a Full-Size?  No, I'm still a lover of that minty goodness! However, they have a Lemonade Flavor one that sounds SO intriguing!


"Oil-free, lightweight moisturizer to hydrate combination skin. Sheer, easy-to- apply formula contains Silk Amino Acids and a unique combination of plant extracts that help improve skin texture and combat surface dehydration." - dermalogica.com

I love, love, love Dermalogica! My skin has been a bit dry lately so I just started reusing their Pre-Cleanse with their Special Cleansing Gel and my skin has been SO much happier! The Active Moist has definitely been a great addition to my skincare daily ritual.

The formula is a fairly lightweight for a lotion, very fresh and lightly sheer, which I prefer for daytime use, but it still can be used at night if your skin isn't too dry. It spreads evenly and I only need a little over a pea-sized amount to cover the entire face, so I know this product will last quite a while. It sunk into the skin fairly quickly and left it softly hydrated and smooth with no patchiness, oily residue or greasy finish. It contains no artificial colors or fragrances, and I really don't detect any noticeable scent, even when holding it close to my nose. My skin really loves just soaking it up, and it holds onto the moisture for hours and hours after use!

Would I Repurchase a Full-Size?  If I were to place an order for any Dermalogica products (which I may once I use up a good amount of my skincare stash, haha), I'd definitely add Active Moist to the purchase!


"0.1 % MICRO-EXFOLIATING LHA [LIPO-HYDROXY ACID]: Offers precise cell-by-cell exfoliation to help shed dark cells from skin’s surface and smooth texture. Now you can fight the look of dark spots at every step of your skincare routine, starting with the cleansing step. Mela-D Deep Cleansing Brightening Foaming Cream helps even skin tone and boost radiance." - laroche-posay.us

I haven't had the best of luck with La Roche-Posay, so I crossed my fingers and tried this new product with some hopeful gusto! I actual love it! Yaaaaay La Roche-Posay!

The formula is...well...it's SO PRETTY to look at, haha, it has a pretty white almost iridescent frostiness. It lathers SO well, and you really don't need much to cover the entire face, I'd say almost two pea-size amounts. It has a lightly sweet smell, maybe bordering a bit on a fruity aroma. The best part about it is that it actual DID brighten my skin! My redness was reduced, and my overall skin appearance was brighter, whiter and smoother! It doesn't have a super-strong exfoliating factor, but it certainly did wash away a fine layer of dead skin, very gently, to reveal new, fresh skin. 

Would I Repurchase a Full-Size?  Yes!


"The perfect curl simply needs the perfect hold – long-lasting, touchable and flake-free. This creamy pudding is every curly girl’s styling must-have. It defines and shapes curls, coils, kinks and waves when they need a little extra control, and it’s thick enough to hold any style but won’t weight hair down or leave behind a sticky, flaky residue. It’s packed with natural ingredients like Agave Nectar to ensure a high-shine finish, Guar Gum to give hair that perfect control and Avocado Oil to leave it soft, healthy and beautiful. Whether you’re setting, twisting or simply defining your curl pattern, this is your hairstyle’s new best friend. Perfect your curls to shine through any style" - carolsdaughter.com

Let me put it this way right off the bat.....I think I've found one of my Holy Grail hair products!

This stuff has been a GODSEND for me and my finicky hair! My hair is part curly/wavy and part straight and can be SUCH a pain to deal with. I always go with the curls and try to enhance them as much as I can while I volumize and de-frizz. While doing all that my hair just decides it doesn't want to cooperate, oh....about 80% of the time (I swear the other 20% are the days I stay home....::sigh::). This hair pudding kicks my curls into gear! When my hair is still damp, after towel drying, I just add a nickle-size amount of this in my hands, scrunch it into my hair, and immediately I notice some curls forming and holding! After it air dries for a while, I blow dry it on low while scrunching and holding pieces of my hair in my hand, and tada! The pudding has created some frizz-free, held-together, effortless curls that actual stay for hours throughout the day! It makes the curls look crisper, without being crispy, it keeps my hair from being weighed down like most styling products do, and it doesn't dull my color or flake off later in the day! ::hugs foil:: As far as fragrance, it actually reminds me a bit of what the beach smells like, but it's not super salty, just fresh.

Would I Purchase a Full-Size?  What do you think?! YOU BET I WOULD!


 "Say good-bye to dry skin and hello to "total moisture." This facial cream provides concentrated immediate & long-term hydration for a radiantly refreshed complexion. Our exclusive tri-radiance complex helps develop the skin's reserves of water & reinforce skin's moisture barrier. Contains mango butter, a natural plant-based emollient known to provide moisture. For normal to dry skin. In consumer testing, 100% of people tested felt that their skin was immediately and intensely quenched." - benefitcosmetics.com

SUPER rich cream! I can completely believe that 100% of the people tested felt their skin was intensely quenched...mine certainly did!

It's a thicker formula, ALMOST leaning towards a body butter consistency, but it spreads easier. Because it's thick, you do need a bit more when applying to spread evenly, but it's not a huge amount, and even this little packet (which can I mention is ridiculously cute) lasted me over a week! My skin has felt better hydrated, veeeeery soft, and in the morning when I wake up, it's still super moisturized, smooth and supple. One would think that since it's so rich and thick that it could only be used as a nighttime cream, but I actual loved it for daytime use as well! It didn't make my skin feel greasy or oily, and it made applying makeup a breeze with no flakes or dryness at all. If you're having a hard time with late winter skin, you should DEFINITELY try this product out! It did not have any strong noticeable scent that I could detect, but it's not fragrance-free.

Would I Purchase a Full-Size?  Yes, absolutely!


 "Quickly minimize the appearance of pores & fine lines for smoother-than-smooth skin! Apply this silky, lightweight balm alone, under or over makeup. Translucent, oil-free formula complements all skintones and helps makeup stay put. Contains a Vitamin E derivative, known to protect skin from free radicals." - benefitcosmetics.com

I was so very excited to try out this little beauty, since I've heard SO much about it for so long! I have to say, though, I was disappointed in it. It just didn't have any large noticeable effect on my skin, and it wasn't that strong of a primer compared to others I use, however, there were a few aspects of it that I liked.

The formula is nude-colored, leaning a bit yellow, but it doesn't seem to tint your skin once you blend it in, so no worries there. It's a very smooth consistency, but it feels a bit thick when you first start to spread it on your face, but once it's warmed a bit, it spreads quicker and evenly. You don't need to use much to fully cover your face, and once it starts to set it changes from a silky texture to a slightly powdery finish, but not drying in the slightest. It leaves your skin slightly matte, but super smooth, which definitely makes for a great base when applying makeup.

I blended in the product onto my hand (from the photo above) and as you can see it did blur the fine lines just a tad, and didn't change my skin tone at all, but whenever I use it on my face I just don't see any difference with my pores. Maybe my pores just aren't that large, but I've tried it all over, on the left side of my face only, on the right side of my face only, which little to no noticeable effect. The best aspects of this product that I was happy with was the texture and silky application, the fact that it did mattify my skin slightly, and it made applying foundation/BB Cream on top a breeze. Since it's primary use is for pore reducing and priming, though, I can't say I'm too impressed. I know it gets raves from so many people, but it just didn't work for me! 

Would I Purchase a Full-Size?  No

in Rebel

"Embark on a total thrill glide with Marvelous MoxieTM Lipgloss. Luscious, vibrant color loaded into a refreshing formula that slips on satiny-smooth for sheer-to-medium coverage with nonstop glistening shine. Lips look fuller and more voluptuous. Naturally-derived Shea, Avocado and Murumuru butters help to deeply hydrate and smooth lips while an infusion of minerals revitalizes lips for a healthy-looking pout. All the while, an encapsulated vitamin A, C and E complex helps to deliver antioxidant defense, so you're ready for anything—and everything." - www.bareescentuals.com

At the moment bareMinerals has 15 different shades available for the Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss, and believe it or not, I DO have one that I received...oh wow...over a year ago in an Ipsy Glam Bag! I want to say it was BEFORE I started this blog, haha! I received the shade Daredevil, which I loved. It's listed as a sparkling blackberry shade. Rebel, here, is a pink mauve.

I'm a little confused by the description saying that it's both "luscious, vibrant color" and "sheer to medium". Haha, I mean, I get it, I do, but to me you can't have luscious, vibrant color when it's completely sheer! The formula is a little thick for a lip gloss but it's not too sticky, however, it does hang a bit on the lips and sits a tad heavy. It does have a nice, soft sweet fragrance, though. It reminds me of vanilla and mint.

As you can see, Rebel just doesn't have much pigmentation on me. Hardly any at all. It could be just because my lips are so darn pink, but it ended up looking like I had just put a clear gloss on. I'm really curious as to what the tint is like in the other brighter shades, especially since I loved Daredevil! It does provide nice shine without being overly glossy but without the better pigmentation to go along with the thickness, I'm afraid I'm just not a fan of this shade.

Would I Purchase a Full-Size?  Not in the shade Rebel


"With their two globe conquering albums, 'Up All Night' and 'Take Me Home', One Direction - Niall, Louis, Harry, Liam and Zayn - have established themselves as one of the world's biggest bands. Their debut fragrance Our Moment is both inspired by and dedicated to their fans.The band worked closely with fragrance experts to choose their favourite scents, ultimately creating a vibrant and playful fruity floral fragrance reflecting the essence of One Direction." ulta.com

Haha, I don't know why I just crack up every time I see this perfume. Maybe it's because I'm not a fan of One Direction, or because a boy band came out with a perfume....but I just giggle. 

That being said, it's actually not a bad perfume! However, I do think it's more suitable for a younger wearer (not saying I'm old, but I'm certainly not a teen/youth anymore and NOT in my early twenties!). The perfume notes are:

  • Top: Pink Grapefruit, Wild Berries, Red Currants
  • Middle: Jasmine Petals, Fresh Freesia, Frangipani
  • Drydown: Creamy musk, Sheer Woods, White Patchouli

  • I'm surprised the aroma came off as so young with patchouli, jasmine, musk and currants, but it is! It's very light, fresh, and leans a bit fruity without being overly sweet, but it does have some soft floral floating in it. I really like it for daytime wear when I'm out and about and not going anywhere special or when I'm teaching class. It's more of a subtle fragrance, so it's not overpowering at all, even if you spritz multiple times, now the only downside to that is it doesn't last as long as most perfumes do. I definitely recommend this as a great gift for a younger woman (early teens, teens, early twenties, etc.) or for someone who may prefer lighter, sweet fragrances that are more subtle but feminine. 

    Would I Purchase a Full-Size?  Not for myself, but for a friend, yes!


    "In an explosion of pink and gold, Prada Candy takes us on a walk on the wild side showing us a new facet of Prada femininity where more is more and excess is everything." - ulta.com

    Haha, this is actually my favorite perfume! I not only have a full-size bottle, but a medium-size, a rollerball of it, and a lotion! Love it! My Hubby calls this my signature scent.

    While I might have complained about this vial only been a little over half-full, I personally don't mind since I have SO much of it already, but any other receiver of this Gift With Purchase might be a tad disappointed. The fragrance notes of this perfume are:
    • Top Notes: Seductive notes: Joyful carefreeness, explosion of caramel
    • Mid Notes: Powdery notes: Sophistication, cocktail of musks
    • Base notes: Vanilla notes: Sensuality, Benjoin Overdose
    I'm a tad curious as to how one bottles "joyful carefreeness", ::giggles::. Seriously, though, the caramel and vanilla make this fragrance smell AMAZING. It's sweet enough to wear in the day, but romantic enough to wear at night. Another thing that's fantastic about this fragrance is that it LASTS alllllll day long! My Hubby will lean over to my neck and breath in hours and hours after application and say: "Mmmmmm, you smell scrumptious!". It's not at all overwhelming, though, just never completely fades!

    Will I Purchase a Full-Size?  Already have, and more!

    in Light

    "Your go-to for flawless skin. Just let it BB" - smashbox.com 

    I've been trying out so many different BB Creams lately since I've had my go-to one for so long. A girl is always hope to find something better and more fabulous out there, am I right?

    I knew when I saw it said Light that is was going to be too dark for me. I am pale as pale can be! I was actually surprised how yellow-toned their Light shade is. It leaned VERY yellow on me! My skin has a lot of pink undertones so any yellow tint in any product is super apparent when swatched on me. As you can see, it's just not a good match at all! Haha, but yes, I did actually wear it a couple day on my face (when I didn't have to go anywhere, eep!) just to see what type of wear and longevity it had. 

    It did spread evenly and nicely, as you can see from above. It has great coverage with no patchiness or splotchiness and it does provide a nice layer that evens out skin tone and discoloration. It isn't too thick or hard to apply, even using hands or a foundation blending brush. My favorite to use with this product is the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. It just blended it in nicely and I was able to easily handle exactly how much I wanted to use and how thickly I wanted to apply it. I tried it with my Beautyblender as well and it was just a tad too thin for good application.

    As far as longevity, it did last a good amount of the day and didn't smudge or fade off as fast as other BB Creams have! After 12+ hours of wear, when I used a makeup remover wipe to take off my makeup I did see a huge amount of the product come off on the wipe, so that tells me it hadn't been rubbing or coming off during wear (This is WITH use of a setting spray). If you like using BB Creams and have slightly yellow undertones you may want to consider trying this product out! Other than the shade, I really enjoyed using it!

    Would I Purchase a Full-Size?  Not of the Light shade, no, but I may be curious to try out the Fair!


    "This advanced multi-benefit formula corrects uneven skin tone, brightens skin's appearance and reduces the appearance of fine lines for a visible younger, smoother look." - ahavaus.com

    My first time trying out Ahava! I have a friend who swears by the brand, so I was superdupes excited to finally test it out myself. I love how all of Ahava's products contain Dead Sea minerals, which are known to have awesome effects in skincare.

    The formula is fairly sheer and light for a cream, but it seriously sinks in to the skin! I loved using it for both daytime and nighttime use and it's great whether your skin is super dry or even a little oily! It doesn't leave any greasy residue or sticky finish after applying and the moisture it provides does last hours! I've noticed after days of wear that my skin looks fresher, a bit healthier and hasn't been breaking out quite as much! If you're looking for a lighter but still rich moisturizer than you may want to consider trying this out! 

    Would I Purchase a Full-Size?  As much as I liked it, probably not, it's a little on the pricier side and I do have other moisturizers that I love as much as this that aren't that expensive.


    Well that is it for The Charming Cheshire's very first Sample Session post, I hope you enjoyed it! As I said, these posts will be a bit shorter, more compact but still a bit informative so hopefully you can get some idea of whether or not you'd like to try out that product. Sometimes it's just little posts like these that can make a huge difference in that decision of To Buy or Not to Buy! Again, I'm going to be advancing the posting of Sample Sessions so I can share Gift With Purchase offers, or let you know if that particular store is still offering that particular individual sample!

    Until next time!


    Happy Makeuping and Sampling!



    1. That's a really good GWP! And the bag itself is adorable!

      1. I know right?! I think I love the bag more than anything else LOL

    2. Great samples, I would make use of every sample there! I love Prada Candy it smells sooo good! I love your new profile photo by the way :)


      1. Thanks Erica! :-D MMmmmmm, Prada Candy really is the best, I love it. I've never been more obsessed with a fragrance ever LOL