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Post in Beauty Confidential
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The Gratis Thread πŸ›πŸŽ‰

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 I’ve been finding that while it’s easy to initially post about receiving it and initial reviews, it’s not as easy to follow up! 

 

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

Re: The Gratis Thread πŸ›πŸŽ‰

That’s good to hear about the Virtue, @lmaster. Im going to focus on that one in the next couple of weeks πŸ‘πŸΌ

Re: The Gratis Thread πŸ›πŸŽ‰

Happy Friday BIC! I wanted to jump in and share my thoughts on the AMIKA - Reset Clarifying Gel Shampoo and AMIKA - Reset Cooling Gel Conditioner since I've been testing both out for about 1.5 months now.

 

I wash my hair 1-2x/week so have used this pair 3-4 times yet I can already tell a difference and feel like my scalp is in better shape than it was two months ago. To be honest, my scalp has been was dry and itchy so I thought it would only get worse with the "cold" weather we've been experiencing in San Francisco. I also wasn't sure something that's meant to absorb oil would help balance my scalp.

 

I use a lot of dry shampoo so think that the clarifying shampoo has been helping with product buildup. I see less flakey texture in my hair as well! I haven't been needing as much dry shampoo and feel like I haven't needed to shampoo my hair more than once/week. This is a plus for me because my hair is super dry and I prefer to skip shampoo whenever possible! I am excited to continue using this and definitely recommend to anyone with scalp dryness or oiliness they want absorbed. I feel like my scalp is so much more balanced using this duo!

Re: The Gratis Thread πŸ›πŸŽ‰

@KatieBT  Sounds awesome!! 

Re: The Gratis Thread πŸ›πŸŽ‰

@KatieBT  That sounds just perfect! I have some trouble with my ends getting dry from too much washing, so I'm tempted to give this a try to see if it will help me decrease how often I use shampoo. 

Re: The Gratis Thread πŸ›πŸŽ‰

@PrettyPaint If your ends are dry I would avoid washing them with shampoo if you aren’t doing so already! I only scrub my scalp with this shampoo and smother my ends with the conditioner. I feel like water + any in-shower hair product is all you need to get your hair clean, but that’s a personal opinion! I know some people feel the need to wash their ends with shampoo. 

Re: The Gratis Thread πŸ›πŸŽ‰

Thanks @KatieBT. This is going to sound ridiculous, but I think I need to make a conscious effort next time I shampoo to know for sure what I usually do because it's second nature at this point. I think I usually just kind of massage it into my scalp moving upwards, but I'm wondering if a bit too much shampoo gets on my ends this way. I'll definitely give your suggestions a try! 

Re: The Gratis Thread πŸ›πŸŽ‰

Chiming in to say I agree with you, @KatieBT! Not only are my ends dry, but I’ve also grown it to waist length (who am I trying to be?! Rapunzel? πŸ˜‚) so those 2 reasons have kept me from shampooing my ends. I find that my ends are less dry this way and I end up having to apply less smoothing/nourishing treatments to the ends as a result

Re: The Gratis Thread πŸ›πŸŽ‰

@Guessgal I didn’t know you grew your hair to waist-length! I feel like you must have a lot of great tips to maintaining hair health - I cut my mermaid(ish) long tresses and feel like I’ll never get back to what I had... I’m also impatient since it’s only been 4 months Smiley Very Happy

 

Any and all pro tips on how you grow out long and healthy hair are always appreciated by me! 

Re: The Gratis Thread πŸ›πŸŽ‰

@KatieBT Sorry for the late reply! I was trying to find where my dry styling oil wandered off to Smiley Wink I keep my super long hair nourished using the Marc Anthony Strengthening Grow Long shampoo + conditioner. I switched to this after my dyed hair faded and my priorities became less about colour-safe products and more about anti-breakage, which I find this duo combats well! Additionally, for the ends I alternate between OLAPLEX - No. 6 Bond Smoother Reparative Styling Creme (this gratis item is still in my regimen, thanks again @TeamBIC ) and Marc Anthony Dry Styling Oil. This oil smells amazing and I’ve repurchased it many times! These latter two products really help when my ends feel a surge of dryness, probably attributed to the chlorine from swimming weekly. Hope this info is useful to you!!AEDB500B-B184-4DE7-88F9-5C1175493137.jpeg

 

Re: The Gratis Thread πŸ›πŸŽ‰

Thank you so much for sharing @Guessgal this is incredibly helpful! And I have never heart of that brand but β€œgrow long” is a name and goal I can get behind!! 

I have the OLAPLEX - No. 6 Bond Smoother Reparative Styling Creme and definitely need to use it more. My ends need the extra TLC as I have gotten into the habit of using heat tools much more since the holidays. 

Re: The Gratis Thread πŸ›πŸŽ‰

I'm impressed as well @KatieBT glad to see it's helping in those areas you need most

Re: The Gratis Thread πŸ›πŸŽ‰

@lmaster 'twas a pleasant surprise, indeed!

Re: The Gratis Thread πŸ›πŸŽ‰

@KatieBT  @faeriegirl  How does this Amika shampoo compare with Living Proof Triple detox? My daughter's scalp gets so oily even the second day so thinking this might be a good milder option. 

Re: The Gratis Thread πŸ›πŸŽ‰

@naturalooks15  The Amika is definitely a milder option. LP triple detox cleans much deeper. I like the Amika shampoo but I don’t like the scent of the conditioner at all. The shampoo cleans well but I still have to wash my hair daily or it gets oily.

Re: The Gratis Thread πŸ›πŸŽ‰

Gratis update:  The maybes 

AMIKA - Reset Clarifying Gel Shampoo and AMIKA - Reset Cooling Gel Conditioner. 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 hasn’t dried my hair out. The conditioner has a nice texture but the scent is very strong and I don’t care for it. Luckily it doesn’t linger. It is lightweight and doesn’t weigh my hair down. 
I don’t blow dry or style my hair very often so I’m not sure how much VIRTUE LABS - The Perfect Ending Split End Serum will help my hair. I do like the scent and didn’t have any trouble with the pump. I’ve been using it on just the ends and it does make it feel silky. Unless I start styling my hair more often I wouldn’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. I’m not sure I can get over the scent thoughπŸ€” 

The LOVES!

I am in love with all three lippies in this gratis! The DIOR - Lip Glow Oil is so glossy and hydrating. The applicator is huge. I really like this and I’m definitely thinking about picking up another shade. The GUCCI - Rouge Γ  LΓ¨vres Satin Lipstick in Goldie red is absolutely gorgeous! It is the perfect holiday red! It feels so comfortable, I love it!❀️ I also really like  IT COSMETICS - Pillow Lips Collagen-Infused Lipstick in Humble. The formula is very hydrating and comfortable.  I love the Llama makeup eraser set! I’ve been using makeup erasers a lot lately because I’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 SoufflΓ© Moisture Cream! It smells so good! Its not hydrating enough for me to use it alone but I’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 hasn’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. I’ve tried it a couple of times and I just don’t care for it. Even my boyfriend said he didn’t like it and he usually doesn’t comment.

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

Re: The Gratis Thread πŸ›πŸŽ‰

@faeriegirl  Thanks for the update!

Re: The Gratis Thread πŸ›πŸŽ‰

@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 πŸ›πŸŽ‰

I haven't tried any others @lmaster 

Re: The Gratis Thread πŸ›πŸŽ‰

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 πŸ›πŸŽ‰

@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 πŸ›πŸŽ‰

GRATIS UPDATE: HAIR CARE EDITION

Gratis - Hair products.jpg

AMIKA - Reset Clarifying Gel Shampoo and AMIKA - Reset Cooling Gel Conditioner

Spoiler

2019 has been a year of hair care for me, in the best way. I had been wanting to pick up a clarifying shampoo when the Amika Reset Clarifying Gel Shampoo and Amika Reset Cooling Gel Conditioner arrived. Perfect timing. Thank you @TeamBIC and @loveamika . When I'm good about my hair care, I'll reach for clarifying shampoo once every 1-2 weeks, depending on how much products I've been putting in my hair and how frequently I've been styling it. I've used both these Amika products twice since receiving them as gratis. The texture on these hair care products reminds me of Skintimate shaving products. Where the shampoo has a shaving gel consistency, the conditioner takes on a shaving cream texture. The shampoo has a subtle, toned down version of the
signature Amika scent. The conditioner, on the other hand, well, I initially thought "minty...but not in the best way." @Shosh85  said it best (and way more eloquently than I did) when she reviewed it and likened the fragrance to a menthol/eucalyptus scent. The scent on both fade away but where I hope the fragrance from the shampoo lingered longer (I have an Amika room spray because I really like the brand's signature scent), I can hardly wait for the scent on the conditioner to disappear. 

In terms of results, both yield good ones. The Amika Reset shampoo leaves my head, scalp and hair feeling light, soft, airy and clean. It does what it sets out to do - clear head and scalp of build up so that your other products perform better. I get compliments every time I use this - from people I might expect to notice these things and others that I would never think knew anything about my hair other than perhaps the color. Two of my coworkers remarked on different occasions after I used the shampoo that my hair "looked really good" with one sharing that it looked like I had gotten a blow out. And, note to self ... "Self, put this on your loves list now."

The Amika Reset conditioner has also been working quite well for me, scent aside. I have thin hair, and lots of it. It can be easily weighed down since it's so thin and that is not a good look on me. Not so with this conditioner. I apply it from the middle of my hair to the ends; it detangles nicely and leaves my hair soft, silky and smooth. I sometimes need to use leave-in conditioner because my hair can get ratty, tangled, etc. and feel stringy over the course of the day - I have no idea why since I don't do anything with or to it. I didn't experience any of that with this conditioner. My hair stayed silky smooth and soft throughout the day. I'm on the fence about whether to purchase another can on this after I've gone through this one, mainly due to the scent. I still have a lot of product left, so we'll wait and see what I decide to do.

VIRTUE LABS - The Perfect Ending Split End Serum

Spoiler
I haven't been using styling tools for a while so my ends are pretty healthy so I didn't think the Virtue Labs The Perfect Ending Split End Serum would do anything for my ends. I decided to use it as a hair serum / leave-in product, applying it from the middle of my hair to the ends and it seems to do a nice job of keeping my tresses shiny and smooth. One of my resolutions for 2020 is to style my hair more, which means the effectiveness of this serum may be put to a better test once my hair has been subject to more heat styling products and more damage as a result. That being the case, I'll plan to check back in with a further update in late next month on how well the serum performs.    

 

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