I've been working my way through some samples, both to try out new things and to clean out my stash. And unfortunately, I haven't been impressed with most of them. Here were my impressions of these products (many of them cult favorites).
GLAMGLOW Youthmud -- I took this photo just before I used this sample, but we all know how much I love this product. Still, it's quite potent and potentially dangerous for super-sensitive skin, so make sure you get one of these sample packets first before you plonk down your paycheck for the full-size tub.
Etude House Nymph Aura Volumer in shade #2 -- I've been using this super-duper-pink highlighter for quite a while, actually, as I was kindly sent a number of samples. You can supposedly use it under your foundation or mix the two together--actually, I think it's designed to be mixed with Etude House BB creams--but it's quite frosty. I preferred to use it as a highlighter. I won't purchase a full size because of the strong fragrance and the deep pink undertones, but if you're looking for a very pink, brilliant highlighter? Consider the Etude House Volumer!
Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask -- Clear improvement? More like a worthless mess. My skin felt ever-so-slightly smoother after this, but that was about it. My pores weren't tighter, my zits weren't reduced, my skintone wasn't evened out...I tested this little tube out twice, once with a thin layer of product (seen above) and once with a much thicker layer of product, and wasn't impressed either time. Also, it was pretty gross trying to remove it all.
First Aid Beauty 5-in-1 Eye Cream -- This product wasn't bad. It looked and smelt like yogurt, which was a little odd, but I wasn't horribly offended by the smell because I do yogurt masks on the regular. It definitely hydrated the area and, as a result, made it look a bit more radiant. But that was about it. Looking at the ingredients, I'm not too impressed. And while it does hydrate, it isn't as potent as, say, the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream. I'm not a huge believer in eye creams to begin with, and this wasn't wowing enough to change my mind.
Living Proof Full Shampoo -- Talk about an overrated, overpriced product. It was $10 for this 2 oz sample, and while it did give me a bit of a volume boost, it wasn't anything to write home about. Organix, a drugstore line, has given me far more impressive results. The worst thing about this shampoo was that, despite the fact that it's sulfate-free, it still managed to dry my hair out and make it look like a giant puff ball. If you have fine, curly hair like mine, that's a product death knell.