Firstly, I wanted to talk about the art of sample acquiring. The thought of walking into Debenhams, John Lewis or Boots and entering a world of strong scented, perfectly polished, pristinely-white coated women and asking for free stuff has always been quite a daunting one for me. I've always been worried that I'd be judged for my windswept hair or smudged eye-liner and have on occasion, to avoid too much interaction between 'perfect woman' and myself, just gone straight ahead and forked out for the full size version of something. This method of trying out products can prove ridiculously expensive and very disappointing, and is in fact - avoidable!
I was recently in one of the larger Boots stores where they do have some counters for high-end brands such as Clarins, Clinique and Benefit. I was casually perusing the Clarins counter, which had a big stand full of testers of all their products, looking for an oil-free daily moisturiser to wear under my make-up which would also hopefully combat my oily T-zone. One of the sales assistants approached me and asked if she could help. So I explained, and she was seriously so friendly and helpful and without me even asking she had given me three samples from their Daily Energizer skincare range and also colour tested a matte foundation on me and popped in a couple of sachets of that too. All I had to do was fill in a little card with my details on it and I was on my way. It wasn't at all an unpleasant experience and it saved me forking out for something in a pressured panic that might not even work for me anyway. I have known friends who have been and asked for samples of various things and the assistants have been really unhelpful and almost unwillingly obliged to hand out a sample - which I think is totally unacceptable. The prices charged for high end products can sometimes be ridiculous and I think it is really only fair that we should be allowed to test the product for a short period of time before. I have definitely changed my mind about going and asking for samples, at the end of the day I don't see why it would matter to the assistant whether you took a sample or not (unless they work on commission?) and I will never again feel pressurised into buying anything without testing it first.
Anyway, on to the good stuff! Clarins Daily Energizer range is targeted at younger skin and claims to boost radiance and vitality, hydrate, protect and minimise minor imperfections and neutralise the effect of pollution, late nights, fatigue and stress. Products within the range contain Vitamin C to revive 'tired' skin, Alchemilla to combat excess oil production and Red Currant to smooth and soften the skins surface.
I really like all three products that I have been testing. I use the Cleansing Gel in the evenings after removing my make up with a face wipe. It foams really nicely and I feel like this removes the last traces of make up that I might have missed and leaves my face feeling really clean. I follow this with the Wake Up Booster which is really refreshing. I kind of feel like this is 'polishing' my skin, I don't think I even know myself what I mean by that but it just adds that little extra. I use the lotion in the mornings before applying my make up. I like it because it's oil free and it also has an SPF of 15 which is great my for fair skin, providing that little bit of protection everyday without me even thinking about it. I think because it's a 'lotion' rather than a 'cream' (if there's a difference) it feels a lot lighter and is so nice to wear under make-up, it absorbs really quickly and provides a good base.
Since using these samples I have noticed a huge difference in the severity of the oil around my T-zone. It's not even half as bad as it was before and it was actually becoming quite an annoying problem for me. I will definitely be purchasing these full size ASAP - they are not cheap but I think they will last a while if used sparingly and I can easily justify the price by how well they have worked on my skin.