A fantastic way to experiment with a brand is via miniatures and sample sizes - Clarins is one of many brands that offers up gift sets which make the perfect gift for the beauty lover in your life that wants to try things out before investing in a full size.
This Christmas there's a whole host of gift sets available from Clarins, the majority of which come in a beautiful makeup bag - If the one I've been sent is anything to go by then they're fantastic quality and amazingly well made. I absolutely love the mint green shade of this, and the floral pattern is just perfect. The bag is a good size and would be perfect for your every-day capsule collection, for taking away for a weekend or even for slipping in to your handbag (though I'm rather precious about things that are extra lovely so it might take a while before I get the guts up to let it take its chances in my handbag)
As you may be able to guess, I've had a real field day trying out these products - I was sent a mixture of body care, skin care and cosmetics and it was such a struggle to decide what to try out first! (I'm not sure that these are a set, I couldn't find this as a complete set)
Most of the gift sets available tend to follow a theme; skin care, body care etc and most of the sets will be around 5 items, which gives a really nice variety of things to play with. Though, that's not to forget, there's also the possibility of picking up a gift with purchase set - On the Clarins site, at the moment, you can get a Free Luxury Gift Set & Free Shipping With Orders Over £60 this includes a bag and your pick of 5 samples which includes a mix of cosmetics, body and skincare. So if you're planning on putting some full sized Clarins items on your wishlist or if you're buying for someone and are confident that you know what they'd like, don't forget to pop over to the site/point them over to the site and you can get a gift set as well as the full sized items (Always got to tell you about the bargains!)
I'm just going to talk, a bit (or maybe a lot, sorry it's come out quite long!), about some of the samples I've got, just so you have an idea of what's available in some of the gift sets - Or maybe you're trying to narrow down selection of what full sized items to go for.
First up we have the body care - Now I'm a big fan of certain body care brands so I've rarely strayed in to the higher end level of body care products, so this is rather a nice treat for me. The 'Smoothing Body Scrub For a New Skin' contains bamboo powders which is something I don't think I've come across before. It claims to soften, smooth and firm which is exactly what any of us would want from body care products. In its cream base, with scrubbing particles that are rough enough to do some work but not too rough that it hurts my sensitive skin, it's a really enjoyable product to use. Obviously when you're using a sample you've not used it for weeks and week but I'm not going to complain at having had a chance to try out a high end scrub!
I was very intrigued by the idea of a 'Body Serum' - Facial serums are an absolute norm but I've never heard of a body serum before. As you can see, in the bottle, is has a typically serum like formula to it. It's weird, really, we're all very fixated on anti-ageing products for the face but I've never really thought of them for the skin on my body - Thank goodness products like the 'Renew-Plus Body Serum' exist to remind us that we need to care for all of our skin, not just the face! Again, can't tell you if this will change your life, but it's a good sized sample which will give you a good chance to decide whether or not you want to try it out longer term.
I love body oils and I love ones that contain essential oils even more - The 'Tonic Body Treatment Oil' has rosemary, geranium and mint essential oils in it, as well as hazelnut oil for nourishment - The mint scent is the strongest but you still get an undertone of from the herbal products. I love the scent. This is a balance of ingredients that I rather love, and the fact that it's in oil form make it an absolute winner. The product is aimed at pregnant people and people going through weight loss - I'm (sadly) neither of those, but I have been pregnant in the past and I would rather like to experience some weight loss so I'm well within the range of people that this stuff would benefit - I love the formula of this, you expect an oil to leave the skin... well oily, but this sinks in so quickly and so well I was amazed.
The 'Beauty Flash Balm' is the Clarins skincare item that I've wanted to try the most; it's an iconic favourite so if you get a set with this in, there's a good chance the recipient will be happy. This is one of those products that there's not much to say about, because so many people already know about it - It's cram packed full of natural, nourishing and soothing ingredients which are meant to brighten, tighten and moisturise the skin. In weather like this I'm sure most of us could do with something like this, I know I have done!
The 'Blue Orchid Face Oil' captured my attention instantly because Orchid is one of those ingredients I've heard about a lot, in face oils, but never been able to try. I know a lot of people are unsure about face oils but I absolutely love them, with the right formula they don't leave your face greasy/oily and they offer a level of nourishment that other products can't always do. I love face oils at night time, as it allows them to sink in fully, you can be sure my skin has been loving this before bed.
Lastly for skincare I have the 'HydraQuench Cream' - I have very dehydrated skin so I hear the name of this and my skin practically shouts 'Yay!'. A lot of moisturisers are great but I, very much, feel like we often need something a little bit more to re-hydrate. This product is really light but definitely feels like it sinks in deep and hydrates nicely - I like it, a lot.
If you know me you'll know that as much as I love skincare and body care... cosmetics make me a bit loopy. I Love cosmetics, love, love, love! These samples of products from Clarins really did make me go 'oooh' because, despite being rather amazing, they're also packaged like proper cosmetics, even though they're only teeny inside.
Just, look, at, these! I know this pic is a little bit 'shiny overdose' but wow! I am in love with the shades of the little, mini, lipsticks - We have 'Soft Berry' in the Joli Rouge lipstick, I Love sheer lipsticks and I Love berry shades (There's a lip collection gift set that's available that makes me go ooh, though I already have the lip perfecter that's in it). In the Rouge Eclat lipstick we have the shade 'Woodrose' - Rose shades are, probably, my absolute go-to shades at the moment, something that's on the rosey side of neutral - Both of these are amazing and I definitely want to try more Clarins lip products.
High end mascaras are definitely something you want to try out before you buy it because some become holy grails and some aren't much better than their high st counterparts.The Instant Definition mascara has, probably, the weirdest wand I've seen - It's a normal, slim wand, at first but at the end it has a super thin part with a few, short bristles; it looks odd but it works so well because the super thin part allows you to get in to the shorter lashes with ease, without having to worry about a different mascara - It goes on, really well. The fact that it's a mascara for definition was always going to be a winner for me; I have long, quite thick lashes so definition is the ultimate goal for me and this stuff does it well. It's never going to give you 'pow - In your face' lashes, instead it separates beautifully, lengthens a bit and gives some extra colour and a bit of extra volume - It does a bit of everything and it does it really well.
Look, at, that, blush! This Illuminating cheek colour is in the shade 'Soft Peach' and it is, essentially, gorgeous. The mixture of tones in it works beautifully to make the overall shade just stunning - These sample pans are only shallow but even the chance to try something like this is fantastic.
Lastly, but by no means least, is the adorable little palette! Look at those teeny tiny little eye shadows and that cute little blush! I love that Clarins go so all out with their sample sizes and, really, turn it in to a small palette. This one has the shades 'Pink Frost' and 'Silver Green' in the eyeshadows and the blush is called 'Rose Wood'. These little palettes are just perfect because, when it comes to things like eye shadow, you're never going to know what shades suit you, really, until you try them on the face. So with things like this you, really, get the chance to try the colours a few times before you decide if they're the ones you want to buy. A sure-fire way to make sure you won't regret your full sized purchases.
If you're planning on getting a gift set for a loved one, or were already getting some Clarins and could get the gift with purchase, then I think you can see, without a doubt, that there's a fantastic range of amazing sample sized products available with Clarins. There's so many sets out there, which would please so many different beauty lovers, that you'll be able to find something for anyone. I've loved the Clarins I've tried before but, now, I love Clarins even more. Being given the chance to try these samples out has been, just, amazing and I know the post is a bit long but I wanted to give you the best overview possible.