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Post in Beauty Confidential

The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

A place to say thank you, provide reviews and first impressions, or follow up on gratis received after more use!


Many of us have been very lucky to receive gratis (thanks Sephora!), and Iโ€™ve been finding that while itโ€™s easy to initially post about receiving it and initial reviews, itโ€™s not as easy to follow up! 


I thought maybe we could have a dedicated thread to follow-ups and reviews with products weโ€™ve received after weโ€™ve been using them for a while, especially because itโ€™s sometimes hard to find the original thank you and first impressions threads.

congrats!! @AJLClough

congrats!! @AJLClough

Re: RE: Gratis Check-Ins๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

@AJLClough  Thanks for your review! Looking forward to trying this ๐Ÿ˜Š

Re: RE: Gratis Check-Ins๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

Congratulations on your gratis @AJLClough! It looks great on you!

Re: Gratis Check-Ins๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

@cianni  This thread was such a great idea. Iโ€™ve been enjoying reading about everyoneโ€™s gratis experiences in one location. Thank you! ๐Ÿ˜Š


Back in November 2018 I was tickled pink (and blue, orange, and purple) to receive my very first gratis package from Sephora:



It contained:

-Bumble & Bumble Thickening Go Big Volumizing Treatment

-Ciatรฉ London Glitter Storm Eye Shadow Palette

-Gucci Bloom Nettare di Fiori eau de parfum

-Indie Lee I-Waken Eye Serum

-Sephora Collection Neon Lip Gloss in pink, orange, blue, and purple


Bumble & Bumble Thickening Go Big Volumizing Treatment: I have long, fine hair so I was happy to get this. I run 2-3 sprays of this through my hair after my shower, but no more than that, as it can weigh down fine hair if used too generously. After that, I blow dry my hair and it definitely has a bit more volume. No, it doesnโ€™t look like the model on the Sephora product page, but it does look a bit fuller. My hair is so fine, though, that blow-drying technique is always the defining factor in any final look, more than product. That being said, I would still repurchase this.


Ciatรฉ London Glitter Storm Eye Shadow Palette: First off, the packaging of this palette is totally beautiful and neat. Iโ€™m a grown adult but I will freely admit to playing with the moving sparkles for quite a while ๐Ÿ˜‚ The contents in the lid move freely which is so fun. 


This was my first Ciatรฉ eyeshadow ever, so I was happy to get this as well. I found the formula very nice to work with and it definitely put Ciatรฉ on my radar for future eyeshadow purchases. Every shadow was very pigmented and applied and blended out very easily, with very little kick-up or fall-out. As I write this, the palette is still on sale. Iโ€™d definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to add these shades to their collection, or as a fun gift to someone starting their quality makeup collection.



Gucci Bloom Nettare di Fiori eau de parfum: Iโ€™m not a fan of most floral perfumes. Although I passed this to my mother who favours floral perfumes, I did try it on myself. The initial rose notes were very nice. I fully expected the finish to be the dull, watery rose I expect from most floral perfumes of this type, but that wasnโ€™t the case. The rose notes stayed pure and clear which I really liked. If I liked rose perfumes more, I would have definitely kept and loved this perfume.


Indie Lee I-Waken Eye Serum: I had never heard of Indie Lee prior to receiving their eye serum in this package, so I went into this trial as a blank slate. As with most eye products, a little goes a long way with this serum. It sinks into my undereye area quickly, and I do notice some de-puffing for sure. To be perfectly honest, though, I donโ€™t have much discolouration under my eyes, so I canโ€™t speak to its effect on that. My bigger concern is the fine lines under my eyes and it didnโ€™t do much for those. (Nothing seems to, except nightly collagen eye patches.) It was still a nice product overall, though.


Sephora Collection Neon Lip Gloss in pink, orange, blue, and purple: These were a fun surprise. Iโ€™m sad that I canโ€™t seem to find them on the Sephora website anymore. I really like the formula of these. It glides on nicely and is quite comfortable. The pink and purple are quite bright, yet I would still wear them to go out for errands. (I guess Iโ€™ve become bolder in the last year!) The blue and orange... ehhhh, not so much ๐Ÿ˜‰ I still had fun playing with them, though. I mean, how can you not smile when you see these pretty colours?



Re: Gratis Check-Ins๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

This gratis was a great one, @PinkEvergreen. I'm with you on the B&B and the lip glosses. They're both great products!

Re: Gratis Check-Ins๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

@PinkEvergreen I loved that eyeshadow palette as well! the packaging was so sturdy and the shades blended really nicely! and I am loving that perfume it's the perfect summer scent

Re: Gratis Check-Ins๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

@Kim888  I love my Natasha Denona palettes but I never travel with them. I live for compact, sturdy palettes like this Ciatรฉ one, and the TOO FACED - Just Peachy Velvet Matte Eyeshadow Palette โ€“ Peaches and Cream Collection. I like that Natasha is coming out with hard plastic palettes, but people are still reporting shadows falling out of them. Itโ€™s definitely an area she could improve on. 

awesome gratis @PinkEvergreen

awesome gratis @PinkEvergreen

Re: Gratis Check-Ins๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

Lipstick/lipgloss junkie here saying those glosses look fun! Awesome gratis @PinkEvergreen!

Re: Gratis Check-Ins๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

That gratis package looks awesome @PinkEvergreen! Thanks for the reviews๐Ÿ˜Š

Re: Gratis Check-Ins๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

How about a very non-recent check-in? ๐Ÿ˜‚ In October last year, I attended the Glowing Up event at the Michigan Ave (Chicago) Sephora. Attendees got swag bags! I donโ€™t remember if I ever posted about any of this, but hereโ€™s what we got: 


October 2018 Sephora Glowing Up swag bagOctober 2018 Sephora Glowing Up swag bag
FRESH - Soy Face Cleanser - I honestly donโ€™t recall what I didnโ€™t like about this cleanser. I donโ€™t remember hating it, but I must not have loved it or Iโ€™d have used the whole tube. Had it caused a bad reaction, Iโ€™d have tossed the tubeโ€”but I still have it, and I never forget when a product angers my skin, so... hmm. Iโ€™ll try it again soon. 
fresh Rose Face Mask 3.3 oz/ 100 mL - I patch-tested this on one side of my jawline. I was concerned about how fragrant this mask is, especially since it contains rose petals. My patch area felt great right after I used this mask! I went to bed and woke up to a constellation of little reaction bumps in that area. ๐Ÿ˜ก I never tried (and wonโ€™t try) this mask on the rest of my face. 
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Betaยฎ Universal Daily Peel 30 Treatments + 5 Bonus - I tried one of these after easing my skin into chemical exfoliation via FAB Facial Radiance Pads. I didnโ€™t see immediate results with the DDG peels, but I kept using them and saw results over time. I used these (and occasionally the extra strength version) until a month or 2 ago: I was getting too much alcohol burn from them. Iโ€™ve switched to a different AHA peel that my skin loves, but I still think the DDG peels are effective. 
LANEIGE Lip Sleeping Mask Intense Hydration with Vitamin C Original - This is one of 2 free jars Iโ€™ve received. Do I really need to say anything about this magic potion? ๐Ÿ™‚ It saved my lips last winter as an overnight treatment. I plan to use it often this summer, once temps are consistently above 85ยบF (even in humidity, high temps dry my lips out). Since a little goes a long way, itโ€™ll probably take me another year to finish my current jar. 
SEPHORA COLLECTION - Cleansing Wipes - Coconut Water - My favorite makeup wipes, and I might not have tried them had they not been in this swag bag. I love to travel with these. Theyโ€™re great at removing things I wear most often: brow pencil, lipstick, blush, and concealer. They struggle a bit with mascara and waterproof eyeliner, but I rely on a different makeup remover for that anyway. At home, I use these to remove makeup swatches and clean my fingertips during applicationโ€”especially when Iโ€™m applying eyeshadow with my fingers or blending lipsticks. 
Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Body Cream 8.1 oz/ 240 mL - I know everyone else loves this stuff. So would I, if it wasnโ€™t so strongly scented. Itโ€™s great as a body creamโ€”very moisturizingโ€”but the fragrance gives me sneezing fits and headaches, so I canโ€™t use it. ๐Ÿ˜ž 
SEPHORA COLLECTION - PRO Diffuser Brush #64 - When I donโ€™t wanna get my hands dirty while applying skin tint, I reach for this brush to get sheer coverage. This brush replaced my similarly shaped yet denser IT Cosmetics buffing brush. I like the Sephora 64 better because I can stipple and lightly buff with it and get an even, natural finish. Since this brush doesnโ€™t retain much product, itโ€™s pretty easy to clean and I waste less product. 
BEAUTYBLENDER - the original beautyblenderยฎ - Since I donโ€™t use sponges, I gifted this one to a good home. For me, brushes or my fingers are far more efficient than beauty sponges at applying makeup, and theyโ€™re much easier to clean. 
FOUR SIGMATIC - Mushroom Hot Cacao Mix with Reishi - I just realized I havenโ€™t used this yet! Will do that soon. 
Four Sigmatic Mushroom Matcha Latte Mix with Maitake - Also need to try this soon. I just pulled both these Four Sigmatic pouches out of my pantry and put them on the counter beside my electric kettle, so Iโ€™ll remember to use them. 

Re: Gratis Check-Ins๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

I also attended that event, it was so fun!!! Here are my thoughts: 

Fresh soy face cleanser: Meh. This is fine, I don't love it or hate it so I leave it at my boyfriend's place and use it around once a week. 

Fresh Rose Face Mask: Unfortunately for my bank account I fell in love with this mask! I found it super moisturizing and have since purchased the full size. Sorry it didn't work out well for you! 
Laneige lip sleeping mask: I actually really didn't like this product! I had heard amazing things so was excited to try it. I found that it made my lips really flaky even if they felt moisturized. 

Sephora Collection Coconut Cleansing Wipes: These really irritated my skin ๐Ÿ˜ž 

Sol de Janiero Bum Bum Cream: I love this stuff and am using it super sparingly because i don't want to spend on the full size

Sephora brush SEPHORA COLLECTION - PRO Diffuser Brush 64: I love this brush! I use it every day to do my makeup, I've found it works best with my stick foundations and can leave liquids a little streaky

Beauty Blender: I totally understand the hype around this product now! It is so amazing and blends like a dream!


Re: Gratis Check-Ins๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

This is a great goodie bag, @WinglessOne! I can't wait to hear what you think of the Four Sigmatic mixes. 

Re: Gratis Check-Ins๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

Thanks @quspork ! Iโ€™ll definitely post an update when I try them. 

@WinglessOne some scents are just too strong, sorry the f...

@WinglessOne some scents are just too strong, sorry the fresh rose mask didn't work out

Re: @WinglessOne some scents are just too strong, sorry the f...

Thanks @lmaster! Since I used a spatula to scoop out the mask for my patch test, a friend happily took the rest of the jar off my hands. So at least it went to a good home. ๐Ÿ™‚

Re: @WinglessOne some scents are just too strong, sorry the f...

@WinglessOne oh nice!!

Re: Gratis Check-Ins๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

This is a great gratis, @WinglessOne!  I want o try the Four Sigmatic products some day! (I own a lot of supplements - it will be a while.)

Re: Gratis Check-Ins๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

Thanks @curlychiquita ! I really wanted to try the hot cacao last winter but, for some reason, I forgot about it. I donโ€™t usually drink hot cocoa/cacao/chocolate when itโ€™s warm outside (yet Iโ€™ll still drink hot mochas) but this will be an exception. 

Re: Gratis Check-Ins๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

Awesome swag bag! @WinglessOne 

Re: Gratis Check-Ins๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

Thanks @l8totheparty !

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