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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: Gratis Check-Ins๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

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

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

A few thoughts after getting the chance to use some of the new brushes from the Sephora Collection PRO line that Sephora graciously sent so many of us as a gratis:


Ones that will definitely be worked into my regular rotation:


-SEPHORA COLLECTION PRO Foundation Brush #70 Love this brush. I'm usually a dedicated beauty blender user for foundation purposes, but occasionally will break out a brush, depending on what foundation I'm using. With something quite liquid, like Estee Lauder's Double Wear, this brush is a dream. It gave great, even coverage with smooth application. It blended really well and managed the contours of my face nicely.


-SEPHORA COLLECTION PRO Blush Brush #96: This is a fabulous blush brush and, in fact, might be one of the best I've used! It's great for targeted application, very soft, picks up and deposits pigment evenly and well, and doesn't leave excess product on the brush. Love this one!


-SEPHORA COLLECTION PRO Shadow Brush #15: This brush is great for more precise lid application, including getting near your upper lash line. It deposits pigment beautifully and doesn't hold too much excess on the brush. It also blends out really well. I'll reach for this one often. 


Ones I'll use occasionally:


-SEPHORA COLLECTION PRO Powder Brush #59: This is a decent enough powder brush. It did seem to work a little better with pressed powder over loose powder. It's very soft with a nice shape and doesn't shed (always a plus). But I felt like it struggled to pick up as much powder as my beloved RT powder brush. Still I'll have no trouble working it into the rotation. 


-SEPHORA COLLECTION PRO Shadow Brush #14: I used this as all-over lid brush and it seemed to work well for that purpose. It has decent pick up of pigment and held it well- I didn't experience much fallout with it. It's a little stiff, but overall a nice shadow brush. 


-SEPHORA COLLECTION PRO Crease Brush #19: The more I use this one the more I like it. It not in the first category purely because it doesn't beat out my absolute favorite crease brush already in my collection. That said, this is a great brush to use. The shape is perfect for hitting the crease, even for someone with hooded eyes like myself. It's soft and comfortable on the eye. It picks up color well, though it does keep a fair amount of pigment on the brush itself. It's not terrific at blending out color outside of the crease, but that's a small issue. 


Ones that, unfortunately, miss the mark for me:


-SEPHORA COLLECTION PRO Foundation Brush #56- This one unfortunately just doesn't work as well at the other new foundation brush (70) IMO. I found it more difficult to get my desired coverage, it seemed to use more product, and it required a lot of extra blending time. 


-SEPHORA COLLECTION PRO Brow Brush #20- Not a fan to be honest. The spoolie end has VERY stiff bristles which I found to be scratchy and uncomfortable to use. The brush end seems better suited for cream application and I'm a powder eyebrow coverage kinda girl. 


Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

@quspork Great review

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

@quspork What do you use for your crease brush?

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

@Samtian It's actually a Julep brush. I'm not sure if they even still make that exact one anymore. I got it years ago as part of a shadow palette and the palette itself was 100% the worse eyeshadow I've ever used LOL. But the brush is amazing, go figure. 

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

Thanks, @quspork!  I have the # 70 and the # 96 on my favorites list.

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

Love those two, @curlychiquita! If you decide to pick them, I hope they work out nicely for you too!

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

Here is my full review after having the brushes for a week


Contour #79

I have used a lot of contour brushes and this brush was just okay for me. Itโ€™s easy to pack on color and apply to the temples of the forehead and to the hollows of the cheeks and blend out.  I just wish it was angular instead to make contouring the face a little bit easier especially for beginners. The bristles are soft on the skin but after washing there is still a chemical smell to the brush.

Brow #20

I love using eye shadow to create my brow shape. I have thin brows and like to gradually create my brow shape with powder and then define the tail end with a brow pencil. This brush was just too stuff to deposit the brow powder. I only used a little powder on the brush and gentle strokes but because of the stiffness it didnโ€™t lay the powder down naturally. It looked too harsh and I would continually have to brush through with the spoolie to soften the harshness.

Crease #19

If you are looking for a fluffy crease brush this will not be for you. Itโ€™s more on the dense side which works great for packing on a dark color in the outer corner of the eyelid and blending it out with another brush. Or just using one color to blend out harsh lines on the lid.   Since It is tapered you really get into the crease/eyelid fold. I donโ€™t know if this would be the brush to use to transition from light to a darker shade color as I feel itโ€™s not soft enough and it could pack on too much color at once if you are not careful and be a pain to blend out.  It felt stiff compared to other crease brushes I own and I also couldnโ€™t get the chemical smell out after washing it.

Foundation #70

This is similar to a flat top kabuki brush which does a good job at picking up foundation and buffing it into the skin.  The brush was soft on the face and easy to work with and didnโ€™t absorb the foundation into the brush so a little goes a long way.

Powder #59

This brush is a nice size but I wish it was fluffier to really pick up powder and deposit it all over the face. I felt using it in back and forth motions as described disturbed the foundation I was wearing. This is better used in a tapping/rolling motion.

Foundation #56

This brush could easily be used with the #70 brush. The 56 would lay the color down and then the 70 would buff the foundation out. I feel if you use this brush you may need a sponge afterwards to blend it out as it may pack on too much foundation and you could end up with cake face.  When using this brush I had a wedge sponge handy to really blend out what the brush couldnโ€™t.

Blush #96

This brush did a great job at picking up color and applying it to the apples of my cheeks.  It didnโ€™t pick up too much product so it was easy to gradually build up the cheek color.  Itโ€™s best to tap the color on the cheek and then sweep up the color.

Concealer #57

This is a densely packed brush for under eye concealer.  It was hard to get it to pick up cream concealer from the tube to the under eye area so I used my fingers to rub the concealer out of the tube and apply it to the areas I needed and then buffed the area with the brush. I think it would have worked better with liquid concealer.  It didnโ€™t feel harsh on the skin which I liked.

Shadow #14

This brush was a little too big for my Asian eyes and was hard to pack on color cleanly to just my eyelid area only.  If you have smaller lid space like I do I would suggest to get the #15 brush or try to control the eye shadow placement carefully because it could end up messy where you will need to get a q tip to clean up the edges.

Shadow #15

This brush was perfect in size for my eyelid and is a great detailer. It picked up powder nicely and was easy to control shadow placement.  This brush could also be great if you wanted to do a cut crease or be more precise like highlighting under the brow or the inner corner of the eyes.

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

@SportyGirly125 Great reviews on the brushes.  I ordered one today.

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

Thank you for the tips about using the 56 and 70 in tandem, @SportyGirly125. I love the 70 so much, I wasn't sure how to re-incorporate the 56. I will use your recommendation! 

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

@SportyGirly125  Thank you for your honest reviews on your brushes!! Iโ€™ve heard lots of great feedback on the SEPHORA COLLECTION PRO Foundation Brush #70 I might have to pick one up!!

@SportyGirly125, That was a great detailed review of the...

@SportyGirly125, That was a great detailed review of the brushes.

Re: @SportyGirly125, That was a great detailed review of the...

@Luvstravel Thank you 

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

Gratis update:  The maybes 

amika Reset Scalp Clarifying Gel Shampoo 6.7 oz/ 200 mL and amika Reset Scalp Cooling Gel Conditioner 6.7 oz/ 200 mL. So far I like this set. The shampoo has a nice scent and I love the texture. My hair feels nice and clean after using. I have used it several times now and it hasnโ€™t dried my hair out. The conditioner has a nice texture but the scent is very strong and I donโ€™t care for it. Luckily it doesnโ€™t linger. It is lightweight and doesnโ€™t weigh my hair down. 
I donโ€™t blow dry or style my hair very often so Iโ€™m not sure how much Virtue The Perfect Ending Split End Serum 1.7 oz/ 50 mL will help my hair. I do like the scent and didnโ€™t have any trouble with the pump. Iโ€™ve been using it on just the ends and it does make it feel silky. Unless I start styling my hair more often I wouldnโ€™t replace it. The Smashbox Mindful 5 Nourishing Primer Serum works great. I love everything about it but the scent. It is very very strong. It feels nice on and my makeup looks great and lasts. Iโ€™m not sure I can get over the scent though๐Ÿค” 


I am in love with all three lippies in this gratis! The Dior Lip Glow Oil Pink is so glossy and hydrating. The applicator is huge. I really like this and Iโ€™m definitely thinking about picking up another shade. The Gucci Rouge ร  Lรจvres Satin Lipstick 25* Goldie Red in Goldie red is absolutely gorgeous! It is the perfect holiday red! It feels so comfortable, I love it!โค๏ธ I also really like  IT Cosmetics Pillow Lips Collagen-Infused Lipstick Humble in Humble. The formula is very hydrating and comfortable.  I love the Llama makeup eraser set! Iโ€™ve been using makeup erasers a lot lately because Iโ€™m trying to not use makeup wipes so I was thrilled to add another one to my collection! I absolutely LOVE the Glow Recipe Banana Soufflรฉ Moisture Cream 1.69 oz/ 50 mL! It smells so good! Its not hydrating enough for me to use it alone but Iโ€™ve been adding it as the last step in my nighttime skincare routine like a sleeping mask. My skin looks great in the morning and it hasnโ€™t caused any blemishes. I would definitely repurchase if they would put it in a pump container. I try to avoid jar packaging.

The only No for me is the YSL black opium neon fragrance. Iโ€™ve tried it a couple of times and I just donโ€™t care for it. Even my boyfriend said he didnโ€™t like it and he usually doesnโ€™t comment.

Thank you again so very much @TeamBIC  for sending all these wonderful goodies to try!

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

@faeriegirl  Thanks for the update!

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

@faeriegirl I'm so sorry that you don't care for the ysl,, have your tried any of the other black opium scents?

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

I haven't tried any others @lmaster 

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

Well, everyone has their own likes @faeriegirl I personally love all the black opium scents they have, you should smell the others!

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

@faeriegirl I wore the It Cosmetics Humble lipstick today and really liked it!  I need to take a picture.  I think I am the only person that likes jars better than pumps for my moisturizers.  For me it's because I like expensive moisturizers but I'm cheap with them and want to use every last bit of them.  I hate wrestling with the bottom of the products in pump bottles (unless it's an airless pump, where I feel like everything comes out.)

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

Finally got to pick up my goodies from my parents place! I loove the socks, and I cant wait to try all the haircare products!! I love how the packaging is so simple. And my box smelled lovely heh.

Re: The Gratis Thread ๐Ÿ›๐ŸŽ‰

 Congratulations, @sabrinas!

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