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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.

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

@itsfi the scent is a con, I'm using it today for the first time, I'll say even with the scent, I'm really liking this texture, and how it's easily absorbed

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

It absorbs soooo quickly @lmaster. I love that it doesnโ€™t leave my skin tacky or sticky either. 

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

First impressions on amika Reset Scalp Clarifying Gel Shampooand amika Reset Scalp Cooling Gel Conditionerthe shampoo has more of the gel texture, and the conditioner is a foam texture, the scent on both were not overpowering, and quite nice. These are products I would only use once every 3-4 weeks to clarify my scalp of build up. With that said, they both did a great job at removing the products that were built up, they didn't dry out my hair at all ๐Ÿ‘ then I followed up with the Virtue The Perfect Ending Split End Serum 1.7 oz/ 50 mL i had a heck of a time getting this product out of the bottle, so I took the pump off and ran it under hot water to clean it out, then it worked properly! Initially it looks like a cream, but seems to work at an oil does, so a little goes a long way. First use I applied on damp hair, woke up the next morning and my curls looked nice and defined. The next day, I applied it on dry hair, and I feel like,  I prefer this way better, that way you can tell if you have applied too little. It brought my curls back to life and smoothed out the frizz I had from sleeping. Overall after two uses, it does a great job! 

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

@lmaster  Same here with the pump on the Virtue bottle - I could not get anything out for the life of me! It's so great to hear it worked so well with your curls! ๐Ÿ™Œ 

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

@Shosh85 yep! I took it and ran it under hot water and cleared the pump out, then it started working properly,, thanks so much

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

@lmaster I thought mine was broken because I kept trying the pump the product out and nothing came out. I must have pump at least 15 times for it to finally dispense. 

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

Shoot @SportyGirly125 I probably pumped mine at least 50 times, over and over, nothing was coming out ๐Ÿคฆ

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

A little update on the gratis I received Friday:


I used the amika Reset Scalp Clarifying Gel Shampoo& amika Reset Scalp Cooling Gel Conditioner set on back-to-back days. The dispenser reminds me of shaving gel, I love how easy it is to use! The shampoo has the familiar Amika scent I've noticed in their hair masks. The conditioner reminds me more of tea tree than menthol - maybe even the Aveda Rosemary Mint conditioner. Normally I wash every other day, and it proved a little too clarifying as my hair felt somewhat dry. I am thinking this would be best as a weekly deep clean for me. Will share more thoughts after I've readjusted how I use it.


The Smashbox Mindful 5 Nourishing Primer Serum has been interesting to use. The scent is VERY strong (like Sharpie) but thankfully dissipates almost immediately. I have only used a couple of products with cannibis sativa, maybe that is what I'm getting. It is fairly thin, and glides on easily, leaving only the tiniest bit of 'stick' which has proven to be fantastic for keeping my makeup in place. I do struggle with where to fit it in - as a serum, I top it with moisturizer, right? But as a primer, it would go on after - would love to hear others thoughts on this.


Still working with the Virtue The Perfect Ending Split End Serum 1.7 oz/ 50 mL but wanted to show the texture/consistency in case anyone is interested. This has a very light, pleasant scent and reminds me of Kiehlโ€™s Creme with Silk Groom. I am overdue for a cut so this is an ideal time for me to be testing it. 


Like @SportyGirly125, I find the Glow Recipe Banana Soufflรฉ Moisture Cream to be more of a gel-cream. The banana pudding scent is so yummy! I have been using it daily, and am very pleased to report that my makeup does not pill on top of it. The only other moisturizer that works like that for me is the Youth To The People Superfood Air-Whip Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid, so it is very nice to have an alternative option. I have worn it at night at found it doesn't hydrate my skin as much as it needs, so I top it with a second moisturizer or sleeping mask. Like their Watermelon moisturizer (which I use mainly as a serum), I think those with normal or normal-oily skin would benefit most from this. My skin is more normal now than usual, so it is working great for daytime, especially with a hydrating primer on top (I alternate with a couple of oil-based ones).


The Dior Lip Glow Oil Rosewood was such a pleasant surprise. I expected an oilier formula, similar to other lip oils I've used. It is much more a gloss, and it has pretty good staying power. I LOVE this shade too, gives my lips a very pretty flushed look. The applicator is so plush - the only other I've seen close to this is Fenty's.Gloss Bomb.


The IT Cosmetics Pillow Lips is a rather thick lipstick - it feels smooth going on and one layer deposits a good amount of color. I've only used it once but am pleased with its longevity as well. The Gucci I just want to put on display - it's so pretty and has just the right amount of weight. I rarely wear red save for the holidays, so I should have the opportunity to try it out in the coming weeks. I am very happy it is a satin and one swipe is slightly sheer. I feel this will make it more wearable for me. 


Finally, I've been wearing the Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Eau de Parfum Neon 2.5 oz/ 75 mL Eau de Parfum Sprayand love its warmth. I have been wearing Maison Margiela's Coffee Break, and although I am not picking up the coffee, it does feel cozy, too. Slightly reminiscent of Dior's Poison, which I wore years ago. I need to pay more attention to the wear time with it, will update as time passes.


Thank you @TeamBIC and @BrendaBT for this incredible gratis, and for the opportunity to share my thoughts here ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

@eshoe ,

Thank you for your thoughtful and well-written reviews!

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

Thank you for the kind words @tsavorite! Still playing around with everything but so far no ๐Ÿ‹s๐Ÿ˜„

@eshoe, Congrats on this terrific gratis. You have a grea...

@eshoe, Congrats on this terrific gratis. You have a great break down on your take of the items, which I love.

Re: @eshoe, Congrats on this terrific gratis. You have a grea...

Thank you, @Luvstravel. I forgot to mention the Makeup Eraser, but itโ€™s a product I already love and use so I think thatโ€™s why. I did not have it in the llama print, though!

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

@eshoe congratulations!! So happy you received this gratis also!! I personally think I'm going to try the primer without moisturizer and with moisturizer to see the differences

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

Thatโ€™s a good idea @lmaster I havenโ€™t done that yet. The first time I used it I applied it after essence  in place of serum and then looked at it again thinking to myself, well shoot. Now what? Is it a primer or a serum? But itโ€™s turned out well no matter where Iโ€™ve placed it in my routine so far. 

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

Good to know! I'm going to use it tomorrow @eshoe 

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

I have to give a HUGE shout out to @BrendaBT and @TeamBIC and the participating brands ๐Ÿค—โ™ฅ๏ธ thank you all so much for sending this amazing gratis my way! The adorable Llama makeup eraser is top notch! I love love makeup erasers, and use them daily. Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Eau de Parfum Neon 2.5 oz/ 75 mL Eau de Parfum Spraysmells unbelievably beautiful, I can pick up the coffee, Orange blossoms and dragon fruit, usually it's hard for me to distinguish scents, but these are excellent and it's something I would purchase for myself. amika Reset Scalp Clarifying Gel Shampooamika Reset Scalp Cooling Gel Conditionersound great by the ingredients, I'm super excited to try these, Virtue The Perfect Ending Split End Serum 1.7 oz/ 50 mLwill also be a product I would look for personally, having coarse curly hair, I do get damage, especially if I color my hair. Glow Recipe Banana Soufflรฉ Moisture Creamoh my gosh,, I can't begin to say how much I love banana scented products, I had been stalking this product for days now. Smashbox the mindful 5 nourishing face primer serum sounds like something I'd use as well, with the freezing temps my skin can definitely use a primer oil complex. I'm so very excited to try Gucci Rouge ร  Lรจvres Satin Lipstick 25* Goldie Redgreat for holiday looks, Dior Lip Glow Oil PinkIMG_20191216_125716113.jpg








another exciting product I can't wait to try and lastly IT cosmetics pillow lips matte is a product I didn't even know existed! Thank you again and I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!!

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

Congrats on receiving this gratis, @lmaster!

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

@quspork thank you so much lovely! ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’“

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

Congrats @lmaster!!! Can't even recall if I said it on the post about the lipstick... that's how short my memory is. ๐Ÿ˜„ ๐Ÿ˜„ ๐Ÿ˜„

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

@veronika23 thanks so much!! ๐Ÿ’—

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

Congratulations, @lmaster ! 

I'm so happy for you that you were included in this Gratis!  Have fun with this!

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