One thing I love about the summer is that you can buy miniatures of essential beauty products, like shampoos and shower gels and hairsprays and the like. It’s the time of year when I tend to find new products – most of the miniatures are on 3 for 2 deals in the shops, so you can pick up three products you feel like trying and give them a go for a week or so. It’s great not having to commit to buying a huge container of something you don’t know if you’ll like.
I needed to stock up on minis of my regular products for my annual holiday in September, so I bought them this month (they’re usually gone from the shops by the end of August) and picked up some extras that I don’t actually need, but fancied trying.
For the past week I’ve been trialling these three:
That’s Sanctuary Moisture Burst Facial Wash, Soap and Glory Flake Away Body Polish and VO5 Rework Putty.
Were these minis going to convince me into buying the big tubs, or were they destined for the bin? Let’s find out.
Sanctuary Moisture Burst Facial Wash
This one had real shelf appeal, which is why I was drawn to it. Facial washes are a bit of a minefield for me with my dry skin, and this one sounded good and looked good. The only thing I wasn’t too keen on was that it has microbeads in it, and I’m trying to steer away from these and into more natural products that are better for my skin and better for the planet. But I’m always looking out for a good face wash that won’t upset my skin, even if it isn’t very eco-friendly, so I bought it anyway.
First off, it smells great when you pop the lid and sniff it. That’s always a bonus for something that’s going on your face. Or, I thought it smelled great until I actually applied it to my face.
There is no other reaction other than ‘ew’.
It’s such an artificial smell that I almost gagged. But rather than tip it down the sink I thought no, I will give it a chance, let’s see how it performs as a face wash. It feels like a gel, which I found a little odd, but then I’m used to creamy face washes. I don’t often use a face wash at all, to be honest, and the texture of this one in my hand wasn’t really encouraging me to switch from cleanser lotions to a wash.
I was impressed by it despite the texture. It lathers up beautifully and the grim smell does go away the more you wash with it. It feels really nice on the skin too once it’s turned into bubbles, and rinses off easily. My skin was left soft and clean, so despite the smell and the slightly peculiar gel texture, it’s not bad at all. There was no residue left after I’d washed and my skin felt great.
The verdict? I won’t be purchasing the full size one of these because of the weird smell and the texture (and the microbeads), but if I needed one for a holiday, I would happily take this with me as there isn’t a mini size of my regular face wash available.
Soap and Glory Flake Away Body Polish
I’m a huge Soap and Glory fan, and had been looking for a new body scrub after my previous one ran out and I was admittedly just too lazy to find a replacement. I saw this one in the 3 for 2 offer and decided to give it a go before committing to buying a huge tub of it. It apparently has shea butter, sugar and apricot seeds in it, so no microbeads that I can see, and I was hopeful that the shea butter would soften my horribly dry skin a bit.
It smells lovely. And it feels lovely – I had no problem glopping this on my skin and scrubbing. It left me exfoliated and feeling very, very soft after my showers. It’s far more effective than the exfoliating gloves I had been using for months! Normally my skin flakes up again overnight after I’ve used the gloves, so I was surprised the first time I used the Flake Away and realised I didn’t need to exfoliate two showers in a row. And with my moisturiser on top of it, I ended up not needing to exfoliate anything but my feet for three days straight.
It’s brilliant. I’m going to go out and buy the big tub of this as soon as the mini is run out. Fabulous product!
VO5 Rework Putty
I’ve got a short haircut (I think ‘long pixie’ is the term) and if I can be bothered, I can do a lot with it. Sheer laziness has stopped me from buying hair styling products like waxes or putties before because I’m very much a ‘brush and go’ girl, but with this in the 3 for 2 again, I decided to try it and make a bit of an effort. The packaging of the mini size is also really cute – it looks good on the shelf!
The texture of this is nice. It’s not overly sticky, and it goes into the hair easily. Also a bonus is that you can just wipe it off your hands after you’re done styling. You don’t spend forever washing your hands of the stuff afterwards, which I’ve had before on the rare occasions I’ve bought hair styling products in the past.
It’s great once it’s in your hair – I don’t need much hold as I’m not one to really style my hair in any extreme way, but I wanted to make little pointy ends on my bangs and the putty did just that with a few simple strokes. The points lasted the duration of the dinner I was at, and they washed out without any fuss the next morning.
I’m not sure if I’d buy it again. This tub is going to last me for ages, and when it runs out, I don’t think I’ll be rushing to get another one. I think that’s more because I don’t really style up my hair in any way that needs hold, but this is a nice little product if I do fancy doing something different now and again. Maybe I’ll get a second mini tub next year. I would definitely recommend it for people who regularly style their hair and want that texture and hold that it offers.
So from this year’s mini testers, there’s one clear winner – Soap & Glory Flake Away Body Polish. Expect to see the big tub of that on my bathroom shelf soon!