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Foil Challenge

I know we all talked about this but I need it in writing to hold myself more accountable! I have picked out around 28 foils that I am hoping to get through by the end of Feb. that’s 1 foil a day unless I decide to stack more than one! Here’s what I’ve picked randomly! 


Re: Foil Challenge

January 2024


I feel like the beginning of January I was amazing and the second half I may have fallen off the wagon and got run over! I’m happy with my progress I finished 13. I think when I counted at the end of December I had 66 left. So I think 13 is a great number. I do have more now since I got a gwp that had quite a few more foils in it so I will try and add it all up for a fresh start in February!! 


I really loved Drunk Elephant F-Balm™ Electrolyte Waterfacial Mask 1.69 oz/ 50 mL 

Shani Darden Skin Care Retinol Reform® Treatment Serum Duo  it’s just so gentle on my skin! 

everything else was ok. Nothing stood out to me. I think I will try and have a few of each foil to get a better test. 

Re: Foil Challenge

Excellent work @ather and that’s awesome that you found products you loved. Do you think you’ll pick up full sizes of either or both the Drunk Elephant and Shani Darden? 

Re: Foil Challenge

January 2024 Foils 


This month's foil samples, 11 in total, consisted of skincare and hair care beauties. 

1.2024 Foils 1.jpg

1.2024 Foils 2.jpg


Product Details


🐐= GOAT = Greatest Of All Time (to earn this designation, I must have worked through at least two of the particular product and other comparable items)

😘= Chef’s Kiss = Outstanding 

💖= Love 

👍🏼= Like 

🫤 = Okay; “It’s fine.”; “meh

🔬= Undecided = “Still looking into it

🙊= Not for me / my skin type

🙅🏻‍♀️ = = “No, non, nein, nyet, …” 



🫤 I wonder if my hair type is just not the right fit for the Fable & Mane HoliRoots™ Hydrating Shampoo 8.5 oz/ 250 mL and Fable & Mane HoliRoots™ Hydrating Conditioner 8.5 oz/ 250 mL, but both were just okay for me. I wanted to like them, but both left my hair wanting for more. I would be up to try both again but based on these foils, it's highly unlikely I'll be picking up full sizes.


👍🏼 The K18 Biomimetic Hairscience Mini Molecular Repair Hair Oil 0.34 oz / 10 mL, on other hand, makes the list for the spring sale. My hair was particular dry, frizzy and in need of some moisture when I first reached for this packet, and the oil worked wonderfully to make my hair soft and smooth.


👍🏼 Also performing well under pressure was the Charlotte Tilbury Mini Collagen Superfusion Firming & Plumping Facial Oil .27 oz / 8 mL. Other than her masks, I've not really delved deeply into her skincare line. My skin was more dry than usual and I had noticed a couple areas of dry patches on my face when I first reached for one of the foil samples. I wasn't expecting much, just hoping to infuse my skin with some added moisture overnight. I was very pleasantly surprised to find the next morning that my skin looked and felt more hydrated, supple and no more dry patches. So much so that I've been reaching for a packet as a weekend treatment every week this month.


👍🏼 This is the second foil I've used of the Dermalogica Mini Daily Milkfoliant Exfoliator .45 oz / 13 g. The original was one of the first exfoliating powder polishes I ever used and I've been intrigued with the introduction of this more gentle but still effective powder to their line. It contains coconut milk and oat bran extract, along with AHAs and BHAs. While it's not my first choice for this type of product, it is one I enjoy using and I would be happy to pick up more foil samples in the future.


🐐I consider Farmacy Honey Halo Ultra-Hydrating Ceramide Moisturizer one of the must have moisturizers for dry skin in the cooler, brisker winter months. Also great for some TLC when traveling. Makes my skin soft, smooth, plumpy and hydrated overnight.


💖I wasn't expecting too much from the Unlabel Lab Hydro Collagen Moist Shampoo or Unlabel Lab Hydro Collagen Treatment and that was a mistake. Both these hair care products worked beautifully to cleanse, detangle and moisturize my hair. They also smell really good - a slightly sweet floral blend. 

All in all, I'm off to a fairly good start with continuing to use my foil samples @ather. Some I have set aside for travel, and others I'm holding onto until I can get my hands on one or two more foils, with the idea that I'm better able to gauge how well a new-to-me product works if I have more than just one foil to use.

Re: Foil Challenge

@itsfi  Great job! I agree with you that you need more than one foil to really develop an opinion. I’ve often tried a foil and dove into a full size and it wasn’t exactly what I expected. But I think if there’s multiple it gives a better gauge of the product! I have the K18 oil and I used it the other day but I don’t know if I can really give an opinion after one use. I am getting my hair done Thursday so I’m not using product this week so it doesn’t interfere with the highlights I’m getting. I’m excited to try it out more! 

Re: Foil Challenge

Oooh, fun @ather. It'll be nice to get your hair done. 


Yeah, I'm going to try to get a minimum of 2 or 3 foil packets for new-to-me products for testing purposes. It may mean it takes longer for me to try out a particular product because I'm aiming to not buy things as frequently or as much as in previous years but it's okay. I'd rather have a good test sample so I can be sure (or as sure as I can be) that a product is a good one for me before I pick up a full size. 

Re: Foil Challenge



A weekend visiting friends and playing with our dogs was a great opportunity to use up some foils.  


LANEIGE Mini Water Bank Blue Hyaluronic Cream Moisturizer for Moisture Barrier Repair 0.67 oz / 20 m...  is a repeat for me.  Nice standby.


bareMinerals Skinlongevity Long Life Herb Anti-Aging Face Serum 1.7 oz/ 50 mL  and eye creamwere a first time product for me.  Need to try again 


Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream Plumping & Hydrating Moisturizer  is a favorite my mine.


Oribe Hair Alchemy Strengthening Mask 5 oz / 150 mL  is a repeat.  Nice product


Oribe Gold Lust Liter Shampoo & Conditioner Set  are new.  Very nice standby products.  If I have a foil I will bring it while traveling..  I will stick to the foils as this is out of my price range.


GUERLAIN Abeille Royale Double R Renew & Repair Advanced Serum 1.7 oz / 50 mL new  one to me.  Need to try again.


Youth To The People Mini Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Night Cream + Mask with Vitamin C 0.5 oz/ 1...  was in the YTTP birthday gift.  I really liked it.  My skin was soft and refreshed when I woke up.



Re: Foil Challenge

That Tatcha Dewy Skin is a beauty @CorgiMommy; that entire line is great for dry skin. 

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@itsfi my skin loves this brand

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December foils!!


I was on vacation a few times in December so sorry for the multiple pictures. I didn’t want to bring things back! 







 I enjoyed all the fouls but I am not sure I found a fav in them. Most times I need to try them a bit longer to know if it would work better. But I did enjoy them all! 

Re: Foil Challenge

@ather, completely understand not wanting to bring back foils you've worked through. There's just a great feeling when your TSA liquids bag is lighter, has more space in it. Or, in my case, it's easier to zip up. 🤣 Nice work on your samples!  

Re: Foil Challenge

@itsfi  I agree!! I accidentally put an opened foil into a travel bag and it leaked all over. It was a mess. I try and be a bit more careful with them now! 

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@ather going away is a great way to use up foils.  You have done great products in the ones you posted

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@CorgiMommy  Thanks! I don’t have any more trips booked for now so I will just have to use them at home for a bit! 

Re: Foil Challenge

December 2023 Foils

MTD = 29 (not including sheet masks or deluxe/travel sized items)
YTD = 169 (not including sheet masks or deluxe/travel sized items) - I started tracking my foils in February, 2023 so that translates to approximately 15 foils per month. 
December 2023 Foils 1.jpeg
Looking at this pic, it seems like I was washing my hair a lot this month. lol
❤️The Strength Cure collection is my favorite of the Pureology lines. I know the one in the purple packaging is very popular, but my personal preference is for the one with the blue packaging. My hairs looks and feels soft and smooth after I use it. It works well in my current shampoo / conditioner rotation. I have a few full size bottles of other shampoo and conditioners that I'm making my way through but I can see myself picking up a full-size bottle of each at some point next year, perhaps the spring sale.
✖️ The Barbara Sturm set, on the other hand, was a letdown; though to be fair, it may just be that the conditioner in particular, was past its prime. Consistency of the shampoo was nice - it's a clear liquid, on the thinner side as far as shampoos go. Sadly though, and maybe the batch that these samples were made from were duds or stored improperly, but every sample pack I used left my hair feeling stripped and dry, almost straw-like. I wondered whether hydration and moisture would be added back in with the conditioner, but no. The conditioner came out in chunks. 
On subsequent uses, I massaged the second and third foils to see if that would help, but even with doing so (and doing so for a good 5 minutes with the third one), there were still chunks; less so, but they were still there). If someone else has tried these products and had a different (and better) experience, I'd love to hear about it. Based on my use of these three sets of foils, the shampoo and conditioner are passes for me.
❤️Love the portability of these individually wrapped Cutex Swipe & Go Nail Polish Remover Pads. They're quick & easy; one pad can clean up all 10 nails, with little to no messiness, even when it's glitter polish being removed from all nails. These are repeated repurchases. 
❤️ Josie Maran body butter has been a regular in @Loretta55's haul posts for years. I picked up this super-sized foil sample (love how generous they were with the product) as a gwp and I could not be happier with it. I have a few more tubs of body creams I want to work my way through, but a full size will definitely be in one of my future hauls. 
December 2023 Foils 2.jpeg
These were some of the products I took with me on a trip earlier this year.
👍 The Osulloc Kombucha powder sticks are loves - convenient for travel, tastes good, and easy to use. 
👍🏼 Oribe Shampoo for Beautiful Color and Oribe Conditioner for Beautiful Color are nice, but not necessarily ones I love or feel are something I need to have. I'll happily use foil packets of them if I have them, but there are other shampoos & conditioners from Oribe that I would purchase before the ones in this line.
😐I'm reminded that the original scent of the Moroccanoil products is too much for my nose. The Moroccanoil Hand Cream Fragrance Originale has a lovely consistency but the original scent is too strong for my liking and can give me a slight headache. The smell does dissipate but the original scent is not for me. The consistency of the product and moisturizing effect are nice though. I ended up using it on my legs, mixed with another body lotion.
December 2023 Foils 3.jpg
These beauties were from a long weekend.
👎 The scent on the Moroccanoil Hydrating Shampoo and the Morroccanoil Hydrating Conditioner was much less pronounced than on their other products and less problematic for me in that regard. The results from these two items, though, were mixed for me - I like how soft my hair felt after using both and unlike the Barbara Strum shampoo and conditioner, my hair did feel hydrated and moisturized. Unfortunately, one or possibly the combination of both, of these products weighed down parts of my hair, primarily my hair at the crown and my bangs. The latter looked very flat afterwards. I can see these hair care products working well for someone with less fine strands than I have, but it'll be a pass for me.
❤️Had to use another foil of the Josie Maran body butter after using and loving the one earlier this month. She's a beauty. 
👍 I often add a sample of the Guerlain Abeille Royale Double Renew & Repair Serum to my online order when it's available. It's a beautifully luxe and hydrating serum It's pricey too. I can see myself picking up a full size but I also have a fair number of serums that I love and purchase time and time again (as well as a list of serums that I've been meaning to try) so I'm not sure when I might get around to buying a full size. 
👍Not really foils but these came with me on a trip along with these other foils so here they are - Gucci Flora is a lovely scent; I have it in a couple of sizes. Having this vial makes it easy for travel. Replica By the Fireplace has a huge set of fans; the scent is a smidge too much for me on my skin, but I do love to use it for aromatherapy. I started spritzing the air space around my work desk at home during the pandemic and that practice has continued at my desk at home and work, and has extended to the desk at my hotel room when I travel. It sets a lovely mood. 
December 2023 Sheet Masks  .jpeg
Sheet masks
👍I actually went through 3 sheet masks (and am making a dent through my current multi mask pack). The Life Brand cuticle & Nail Masks - Nourishing (Lemon Oil & Vitamin E) isn't pictured. I was gifted that and really like it - sometimes, it's really my nail bed and cuticles that need extra hydration and care and fingernail masks like these hit the spot. 
 👍🏼 Sephora Collection Face Mask - Grapefruit (gratis) is a nice one; does what I expect of a sheet mask - hydrates skin and gives it healthy glow. My favorite from the SC series is the lychee, both in this version of the face mask made of eucalyptus fibers, and in the newest version with acacia fibers.
👍 I stumbled upon this Sephora Collection Hair Mask - Mango when I was sorting through boxes. This, a foot mask, a face mask, a cup of tea and a good book make for some quality "me" time before bed. The hair mask works overnight to soften and moisturize the hair, making it soft, smooth and silky the next morning after rinsing out the product.
There we have it. There were 2 additional foils - shampoo and conditioner (I really did wash my hair a lot this month, didn't I? Hahaha!) that I forgot to include in the photos; will include them in my empties pics. 
I didn't realize I had as many foil samples as I did, but having gone through this challenge this year, I've reduced my lot by quite a bit @ather. Going forward, I plan to keeping my foil stash a lot smaller and being much more mindful of which ones I pick up as well as rehoming or donating ones I won't use more closely to the time I received the foil sample, rather than waiting several months or even a year before a decutter. 

Re: Foil Challenge

@itsfi  Wow!!! You really went out with a bang this month! I wonder why you washed your hair so much this month? Maybe travel or parties? The SC hair mask sounded like a great way to relax! I can’t wait to see what you accomplish next year!!! 

Re: Foil Challenge

Thank you @ather! This year, I've been taking photos of my foil usage, and empties for that matter, on a weekly basis, instead of keeping everything in a bin or bag and then documenting it at the end of the month. I've done it more out of practicality - month end / beginning of the month have a general tendency of being busier times for me, especially when they fall on a weekday. Having a lot of product to cull through and lay out can be a "to do" item that can be tedious and time consuming depending on how many products I have and, at that point, I'm more inclined to group products together based on how well I liked them - that's how I previously went about my foils and empties and it really is a great way to catalog it and visually it's nice to have all the loves, likes, mehs, and no's in their own photo, but it just got too much for me to do it all at once.


Doing it weekly is simpler for me; most of the time, I just grab what's in my empties and foils bin/bag the night before trash pick up day, lay them out on the table, take a photo, then place those items in the appropriate recycle, compost or trash bins. Or place them all in a bag to drop off at one of the bins in a Sephora store. It makes for a less cohesive photo thematically when posting, but it's more convenient for me based on my schedule. It also helps when I'm traveling - I take a quick shot of my empties and foils the morning I leave and I don't bring back empties with me. Yes, there was a time when I would bring back my empties with me so I could keep the products I loved in one shot, the likes in another frame and so on. 


I'm taking a slightly different approach to foils next year, but I'm looking forward to seeing what comes of it. 

Re: Foil Challenge

Oh about the shampoo and conditioner foils @ather, I do think travel played a role in more of them being used this month. I also spent more time outdoors and there were a host of factors associated with that that meant more instances when I wanted / needed to wash my hair - if I spent the day, or most of it, walking and my head became sweaty or sweatier, either because I was wearing a hat or I was just sweating more, I'd feel better if I washed my hair. Also, there were several times I was walking along a beach where the salty ocean air and sand would get in my hair and well, I needed to wash my hair afterwards. The Barbara Sturm shampoo and conditioner didn't work well for my hair and I did feel the need to wash it again the next day, so that's a contributing factor. 

Re: Foil Challenge

An average of 15 foils per month is really incredible @itsfi .  Any loves at first use?

Re: Foil Challenge

@CorgiMommy, my knee-jerk reaction when I did the calculation was that average seemed high for me (I feel like my regular cadence would be 6-10 foils per month), so I went over my foils for the year and it seems the higher-than-expected average is probably due to a few factors -

(1) being overly eager & enthusiastic about going through my foils the first month of the challenge;

(2) having a couple of opportunities this year to go through multiple packets of the same product (the 14-day trial of the Eadem serum as a gwp promo, for example); and

(3)  uptick in travel this fall and winter where I packed more foils than I might otherwise. 


I didn't have a ton of new-to-me products in terms of foils this year; in years past, definitely, but less so of late. Many of my foils were either of products I loved or liked. Base on this year's foils, loves at first use would be Sol de Janeiro Beija Flor™ Renewing Body Wash 13 oz / 385 mL and Moroccanoil Shower Gel Cleanser Spa du Maroc, both of which I now have in full sizes. 😀 The amika Normcore Sulfate Free Shampoo 9.2 oz / 275 mL and amika Normcore Hydrating Conditioner 9.2 oz / 275 mL were also great but I have far too many full size shampoo and conditioners in varying stages of use to justify purchasing another set at the moment.


There were a few loves the second time around; those include Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter and Pureology Strength Cure Shampoo for Damaged Hair and Pureology Strength Cure Conditioner for Damaged Hair. Full sizes of both will be picked up at some point next year, after I work my way through similar products in my current rotation.


The foil challege this time around has been different for me. All instances where I've participated in the foil challenge have been good ones - the pre-covid challenges, around the time I was participating more in the threads was really about trying to get a better handle on my foils stash, and I did. I also learned some new and valuable approaches and habits to having a more manageable supply of foils through those past challenges. 💗 This year's challenge was a nice way of seeing those lessons learned of years past put into practice, in a very visual way with actually documenting my foil use (thank you for creating a space for that @ather) and causing me to be more methodical, in some ways, with both how, when and why I pick up foil samples as well as how and when I use them. There were some good takeaways for me from taking part in the challenge this year, ones that I'll put into practice next year. 👍 

Re: Foil Challenge

@itsfi  You have definitely taught me tons of tricks this year too! It’s always nice to see a different perspective from others! I learned that I don’t need to take foils if there’s none being offered that I am interested in. Although it does happen when you don’t get the foils you selected!! But an overwhelming amount of foils is also not great! So lots learned this year!! 

Re: Foil Challenge

@ather, I love that we can all learn from each other's experiences. lol, passing up on samples at checkout took me some getting used to. I was so used to picking out samples. For the longest time, I would give foils that I didn't have time to use or that were just sitting to a coworker of mine at the time. She and her husband moved and I visited them once when I was in their area and in her guest bathroom was a drawer full of the samples I had given her over the years - she said I gave her so many that they couldn't use them all so they kept the extra in the drawer to pick from and for their guests. That was a ton of "extra" ather! 😲 A very sobering experience.

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