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Post in Beauty Confidential

Products That Have Pleasantly Surprised You ?

just a fun excuse / avenue to discuss products. i want this thread to be as positive as possible, so focusing on pleasant surprises. if, though, you're biting to talk about a (surprising) disappointment, check out this thread here, which is also great fun for constructive discussion:


  • MURAD hydro-dynamic quenching essence serum. ok i know i'm going on and on about this (and will be doing even more so in my monthly favorites, no doubt), but this stuff has blown my mind ! i've tried loads of serums through the years that target dehydration. some work right away but fail to keep working, others clog my pores due to the types and grades of silicones. i was expecting a similar experience with this one, but figured in a bit of desperation that i'd give it a try. now, this one is not entirely silicone free, but i've had no problems with it clogging my pores, and it has worked miracles on my skin. it also contains a bit of glycolic acid (not enough to 'over do it', though, when used in conjunction with my other acids. oils and moisturizers are performing even better; skin is happy and bouncy.
  • ORIGINS ginzing brightening eye cream. i've been shocked, too, by how much i like this one ! as i've said in another thread, i wasn't keen on using a 'brightening' eye cream that brightens through light reflectors rather than other "from within" ingredients, but heck, i love this. it keeps my under eyes hydrated but is not too thick (sometimes a hard combo to find) and i find when my undereyes are properly hydrated then everything about them looks better--brightness (light reflectors or not !), suppleness, everything. 
  • DR DENNIS GROSS ultra gentle alpha beta peel. i didn't think this would do much for me because my skin is so used to acids that i didn't think these would do 'enough'. but nope, these are extraordinary. their main acid is lactic acid--which is the extra gentle but way effective AHA in my experience. would recommend for anyone to try regardless of their acid usage !
  • GIVENCHY photo perfexion fluid foundation. what surprised me about this is not the formula but the color selection. do not let the 'order' or numbers fool you, the 2nd shade in the range is just as pale as the first shade, but significantly yellower. it's a perfect match for me (it's VERY similar to NARS siberia, for those curious), and it is what set of a light bulb off above my head about how to better look for my color matches in other foundation ranges. 
  • NARS velvet lip glides. i know these aren't a gloss, but they're the closest thing i've used to a gloss in a long long time. i didn't think i'd be into it because of the gloss-similarities, but i was wrong. i've not enjoyed simply wearing a product THIS much in a long time. as @mochapj said, it's like smearing pudding on your a good way. beginning to enjoy such sensory pleasures after The Year Of The Ultra Matte.

i'll add more below as i think of any / experience more surprises ! 


how about you ??

Re: Products That Have Pleasantly Surprised You ?


Re: Products That Have Pleasantly Surprised You ?

It's been a while since I had one of these, but most recently it's been Kypris Clearing Serum


I haven't had the greatest luck with Kypris products in the past. Either they've broken me out or just not wowed me at all, but I received a generous DS of the Clearing Serum with a skincare purchase a few months back and after reviewing the ingredients list, I finally decided to try it out a few weeks ago.  


It stinks like all get out from the tea tree, but I've noticed an overall clearing of my skin with prolonged use on my problem zones. I've almost finished the DS and am definitely considering purchasing a FS. 


Re: Products That Have Pleasantly Surprised You ?

The Physicians Formula Nude Glow palette quad thing. (Sorry with the name). It is so great! I use it everyday as my highlighter and it is definitely poppin! It's supposed to have a blush, bronzer, powder, and highlighter, but they are all so shimmery that I use all of them as highlighter. When mixed together it creates a long lasting gorgeous glow! (And for so cheap you know?)

Re: Products That Have Pleasantly Surprised You ?

FAB priming moisturizer!!!!!!!


At first, I only bought it because I needed a primer and wanted an inexpensive one (sad student life). I ended up falling in love with i.


1. It's not expensive

2. It is so moisturizing.

3. It gives your skin such a natural and healthy glow.

4. It works wonders as much on dry skin (I used it while I was on accutane) as on oily skin (when I wasn't on accutane)

5. It helps my makeup stay on much longer

6. It doesn't the silicony feeling most primer have.

I have tried a bunch of other primers, but trust me, this is the only one I will repurchase.

Re: Products That Have Pleasantly Surprised You ?

I love that too! I got it as a sample a while back and fell in love!

Re: Products That Have Pleasantly Surprised You ?

Me too, @LippiePrincess. I wasn't expecting much when I first tried the sample, but now, it's one of the 3 primers that I rotate into my makeup routine.

RE: Products That Have Pleasantly Surprised You ?

The Fenty Galaxy Collection! As I was rubbing off the eyeliner swatches, I saw them turn to pure glitter and was stunned! Shook to the core.

Re: Products That Have Pleasantly Surprised You ?

I have a really incredible surprise to tell you about! I came across an Indian site and was immediately attracted - my face had gone really sensitive (burning) after an allergic reaction. I wrote to them and asked if I could place an order to be sent to the US and they said yes! So I ordered two cleansers (charcoal and gold), some sunscreen, and Kumkumadi cream.


The shipping cost as much as the products! By the way, I suppose I should tell you the site:

When the products arrived, my skin was reacting to everything (even water!) and I was afraid to try them. I finally did and it was unbelievable!


The Gold Face Wash made my skin look like it was brand-new! The Kumkumadi Cream is like whipped cream, only nicer. (But you have to like Indian scents!) The Charcoal Face Cleanser is also great and the SPF 30 Cream works, doesn't pill or do anything else bad, and goes under makeup without any trouble.


My skin is no longer sensitive to anything, just like it was before the allergic reaction. It's still delicate (it's very pale, extremely sensitive to sun, easily damaged by coarse products like dermabrasive things) but no longer sensitive.


I'm already thinking about my next order, I'm definitely getting Kumkumadi serum and oil!

RE: Products That Have Pleasantly Surprised You ?

The milk makeup matcha toner stick..I was worried it would smell funny and not do anything but it's the perfect quick skincare item and it doesn't have any strong's quickly becoming one of my fave travel skin care items

Re: RE: Products That Have Pleasantly Surprised You ?

Hmmmm.... saw this in the store the other day and may have to add it to my shopping cart.  @Kim888, how hydrating is the matcha toner stick?

Re: RE: Products That Have Pleasantly Surprised You ?

@myinsidevoice I don't think you could use it to replace your normal moisturizer or anything for every day but if you were traveling for a day or two and didn't want to carry a ton of stuff it would get the job done - I mostly use it (or the cooling stick) as an extra boost to my skin especially during the summer when I'm like hot or sweaty so I take off my makeup as soon as I get home but I'm not ready for a night skin routine yet. 

Re: RE: Products That Have Pleasantly Surprised You ?

Thanks, @Kim888!  I wouldn't use it in place of my moisturizer - my dry, dehydrated skin would be very angry with me if I did that.  Loved the convenience of it and will try it in addition to my moisturizer, as well as you do.  Thanks again!  

RE: Products That Have Pleasantly Surprised You ?

Definitely IT Cosmetics your skin but better. I always do full coverage makeup so I don’t really know why I got this in the first place but I’m so glad I did. It’s amazing for every day makeup or to just put on if i’m in a hurry.

I recently picked up the Physician's Formula Butter Bronz...

I recently picked up the Physician's Formula Butter Bronzer. I can't believe how wonderful the color looks on my skin and how easy is to blend. It really blends flawlessly and I am not sure why it took me so long to purchase. A must in my beauty bag now.

Re: I recently picked up the Physician's Formula Butter Bronz...

I've heard it's kind of shimmery, is that true? Because that's really the only thing that's stopping me from making that purchase.

RE: Products That Have Pleasantly Surprised You ?

The exfolikate exfoliator from Kate Somerville! I wasn't using an exfoliator as part of my routine but got this in a play box and tried it out. It has totally transformed my skin and left it glowing after each use! My complexion looks better overall and I've noticed a difference in my makeup as well. Not something I ever would've purchased on my own but now one of my favorite products.

Re: Products That Have Pleasantly Surprised You ?

@jemly I tried the FAB Face Cleanser when it was a Weekly Wow and have totally converted.  It is so gentle but effective.  My skin tone is more even, a few blackheads that were pesky have already receded, and my skin is less oily.  I already bought some for my sister in a gift package, and will be getting one for a friend.  

Re: Products That Have Pleasantly Surprised You ?

I got an ELF Velvet Matte lipstick in a GWP a month or so ago and just got around to trying it out yesterday. HOLY WOW. Soft, comfortable, not drying or cakey and no cracking. It was soft, comfortable, moisturizing...and it lasted all day! I'm getting pickier about which lipsticks I use, especially now that humidity is dropping and my lips are drying out a bit more (they're dry year round, but of course will get worse as winter moves in). So many mattes, whether bullet or liquid, just don't cut it for me lately...they crack at the corners, or build up in my lip lines giving me zebra stripes, but this stuff was magic. Not one crease or crack! It wasn't 100% transfer proof, but even after a couple of hours of wear and eating an apple (whole, not cut up), it still looked as if I had just applied it. I will definitely be ordering at least a couple more $3 a piece, that's a heck of a steal!

Re: Products That Have Pleasantly Surprised You ?

That sounds amazing! I try not to spend to much and so this will be a great alternative to my normal tarte matte lip paint.

Re: Products That Have Pleasantly Surprised You ?

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Foundation

-I was really not expecting to like this foundation as much as I really did. I got it on a whim on Tarte direct when they had it on sale and I have no regrets. I recently finished my first bottle and am probably going to buy a second soon.

Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation

-This was given to me as gratis at my old job and I was never really interested in it because I associated Armani makeup for people with dry skin but I was wrong. This doesn't turn me into an oil slick and has just the right amount of sheer coverage (and SPF)  that I need on my days off.

Milk Makeup Cooling Stick

-I wasn't sure how good this would work because I thought the cooling effect would only work during the first few times you tried the product but again I was wrong!

Touch in Sol No Poreblem Primer

-I saw a lot of Youtuber's raving about how this smoothed their face and I was skeptical so my bf bought it for me to try and now I'm on that primer boat, too! This is the best smoothing primer I have ever tried on my pores so I only use it sporadically because it's always sold out!

Sephora Collection MicroSmooth Baked Blush Duo

-I just bought this blush because the cheap price was too good to pass up and it's pretty good! It is very pigmented and leaves a beautiful flush on my cheeks!

Urban Decay The Velvetizer

-I don't know what sorcery this product has but IT WORKS. I've used this a few times (for blotting) after having my makeup on for 10+ hours and it makes my face look like I just applied my makeup. It is amazing and probably my favorite product of the year so far!

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