I was a little excited when Rakuten, kindly, offered to send me a surprise 'Bonus Box' with some products from their affiliates in - I had no idea what I was getting, other than the fact that it was going to be from some fab brands.
As such a full sized tub of Body Shop scrub and samples from Origins, Clinique and Darphin was a very, very nice surprise. I've had the box far longer than I'd planned, I wanted to get a post up ages ago, but pregnancy/sickness/extra pain, blah! It has been so tough getting posts together but, finally, I'm getting things back in order so I'm really pleased I can share with you what I thought of all of these.
First up, from The Body Shop (where you can currently get 40% off 2 or more items at The Body Shop with code 14673 on a wide range of their gift items), we have the 'African Xinenia Scrub' which comes in a massive 350ml container that has a really nice, chunky and strong feel to it.
As you can see, above, the scrub itself has an almost creamy look to it, and it feels like a very thick cream, with scrubbing particles in, when you apply it to the skin. The scent is one that I struggle to describe, but it's very pleasant; it smells slightly perfumed but light and still quite natural.
The scrub, itself, is a nice balance between being strong enough to give you really nice, smooth skin once you're finished, but it's not too harsh - This is the type of scrub that I like best, because on my more sensitive days I struggle with harder scrubs, but I also don't want to waste my time with something that doesn't exfoliate at all.
The scrub contains the ximentia fruit seeds, that grow on the 'Tree of Life' in Nambia, which gives the scrub a really lovely moisturising effect as the oils soften the skin perfectly. I really, really like this scrub. It's not cheap, at £18 but if you were looking to treat yourself, or a loved one, this Christmas then this scrub would be the perfect, relaxing, pampering gift.
I was really pleased to see the Origins 'Clear Improvement - Active Charcoal Mask' in the box - This wee 7ml sample allowed me to try it on my t-zone a couple of times and it's just as good as I've always heard.
This is one of those products that has a really talked about status, and now I understand why, my pores looked fantastic after using it. It contains Charcoal, White China clay and Lecithin which draw our pore-cloggers, absorb environmental pollutants and dissolve impurities.
Obviously, as with all masks, you need to keep using it to keep seeing the effects, and I'm really hoping I can budget in a full sized tube of this (maybe with some Christmas money) as it was as good as the hype suggests. The full sized 100ml tube of this costs £23.
The next of the sample sizes is the Clinique 'Take The Day Off Makeup Remover' which is for lids, lashes and lips. I think we all know how hard it can be to get a good makeup remover, so sometimes it's a good idea to get a specific one for the eyes whilst you use something else for the less stubborn face products.
This one is made just for the eyes and lips - I only used it on the eyes but it does a great job of removing both cream and powder shadows and mascara too. The only thing I can't comment on is whether or not it's any good with waterproof mascara as I never wear that. The 100ml bottle of this is £17 but what's wrong with a little splurging sometimes?
The last of the three samples is this 'Ideal Resource - Perfecting Smoothing Serum' from Darphin (where you can currently get Free delivery with any purchase ). This was only a tiny tube but it was very nice to try out, it made my skin feel lovely, instantly, and was a fantastic base to go beneath my favourite moisturisers. The full size of this is 30ml and costs £60.
It was absolutely lovely to try out all four of these products and I'd recommend checking out any of them that you like the sound of; be it for yourself as a treat or for a loved one this Christmas.