MINI-MINI REVIEWS: Sephora Favorites Winter Skin Saviors

by - January 23, 2018

I feel like one of my favorite things that Sephora does is their Sephora Favorites kits - and if I had my way, I'd probably buy all of them. Since the Sephora Favorites Winter Skin Saviors Set is no longer available - and I only got my hands on it because my local Sephora still had a couple in store right after Christmas - I wasn't sure whether to review it. However, I also decided that I want to do a new series here on the blog where I do mini reviews of mini products. I actually try a lot of things in smaller-than-full size because I like to try things but don't often go through them, but it can be hard to give a full review when I don't necessarily have enough product to give a full test. Anyway, for my first foray into Mini Mini Reviews, I want to talk about all of these products after testing them for a few weeks.

Keep reading for more!

Dr. Andrew Weil For Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Soothing Treatment Lotion
I have to admit, I'm not much of a toner person, so this wasn't the most exciting thing in this set for me. The notable ingredients in this toner are Sea Buckthorn, Mushroom Extracts and Cordyceps. The way that I tested this toner was to apply it on a cotton pad to freshly cleansed skin. It has a light herbal type scent to it and applies quite comfortably, without any stinging or tightness. I suspect that with longer term use, I might see some benefit from this, but on a short term I feel like I really haven't seen much. I think another issue with this for me is that I don't have the type of skin that needs it. Mushroom extracts and cordyceps are both really soothing ingredients, and particularly the former is good for eczema and rosacea. Obviously I feel like this product just wasn't for me, but I can't say that it isn't a good product.

EVE LOM Cleanser
This is a product I've been itching to try for a long time after hearing amazing things about it. The notable ingredients in this cleanser are Chamomile Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Clove Oil, and Hops Oil.This is a very thick, rich balm-type cleanser that I use as a second cleanse in the evening or as a morning cleanse. When I use balms, I tend to apply them to dry skin and work them in with my fingers, but this definitely needs some warm water to really get it to move around and work into the skin. It also requires a cloth to remove. While it comes with a muslin cloth, I personally prefer to remove it with a face cloth, but either way I definitely think you need some fabric to pull this away from the skin. I quite like this, but I'm not sure I like it as much as I thought I would. My skin feels really good when I'm finished using it, clean and soft without feeling at all stripped, but I feel like it's a little bit more work than I tend to like in a cleanser so I'm unlikely to purchase this again.

Sephora Collection Avocado Hand Mask
Admittedly, my hands get pretty jacked up in the winter from the dryness of our winters here on the prairies, so I was eager to try this. I actually really liked actually using these little gloves because not only did it feel quite nice, but it was a good excuse to just sit and do nothing with my hands for a half hour or so - never a bad thing, particularly for someone who tends to always have phone in hand. Upon removing the gloves, my hands felt absolutely lovely and really hydrated, but it basically behaved like a really good hand cream in that the hydration disappeared after washing my hands. I would recommend this for right before bed so that those hydrating effects will last a little bit longer and maybe help to heal your skin some.

Fresh Rose Face Mask
I have to admit, this mask isn't really what I was expecting and I'm still a little bit unsure of how I feel about it. This is a sort of thick brown gel that has little bits of rose petals suspended in it, which I actually found kind of gross, and it has a really, really strong rose scent. The notable ingredients in this mask are Rose Water, Cucumber Extract, Aloe Gel, Porphyridium Cruentum(red algae extract) and Green Tea. I think that the ingredients speak to why this mask was included in this set, because there's a strong focus on soothing and hydrating the skin there. For me, this is probably the kind of mask that I'll reach for when I want to do something that's just going to calm and pamper my skin rather than when I want something that's going to have noticeable effects on the skin. Overall, this was fine, quite lovely, but not exciting for me personally.

Boscia Tsubaki Deep Hydration Sleeping Mask
I absolutely love a sleeping mask in the winter, so this was one of the more exciting products in this set for me, and also one of the ones I've really enjoyed the most. This was actually a generous enough sample that I've tested this on several nights. The notable ingredients in this mask are Tsubaki (Camellia) Oil, Japanese Sea Kelp, Rice Bran Oil, Serine, Jojoba Leaf and Willowherb. With any sleeping mask, I always want my skin to look and feel really hydrated and plump in the morning and this absolutely did that for me. It's not overly heavy, though I would definitely say it's got a more emollient texture than some of the gel cream type overnight masks that I've used, and sinks into the skin fairly quickly. It washes off easily in the morning and I'm left with skin that just really, really feels great. This is definitely a product that I'll be picking up again. 

When it comes to the serums in this set, it's harder to even give mini reviews because with a serum you have to do a more lengthy test to really see if it's having an effect on the skin. Still, I wanted to talk about the ingredients and the texture and which of these I'm really interested in trying in a full size for a longer testing period. 

Kate Somerville Wrinkle Warrior 2-in-1 Moisturizer + Serum
The notable ingredients in this serum of Hyaluronic Acid, Glocosmine, Polyglutanic Acid and Zanthalene Bungeanum Fruit Extract. This serum has a slightly cloudy gel texture and applies quite nicely. In my notes from testing, I wrote "smells like antioxidants - check the inci" - but I guess my nose was wrong, because I don't see any strong antioxidants listed there. Anyway, this feels really nice going on and I quite like it as a daytime product, since it combines serum and moisturizer and sits really well under makeup. Would likely try this out some more.

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum
I was actually familiar with this product before I got this set - as I think a lot of people are - and I quite love it. Notable ingredients are their True C Complex, Collagen, Orange & Green Tea Extracts and Aloe Juice. I really think that if you've been looking to try out a vitamin C serum - which you absolutely should, in my opinion - this is a great place to start. This is great for both protecting your skin and also giving it a nice glow. Love this, love that they included it in this set because it reminded me that it's time to pick up another full size of this and put it back into rotation. Highly recommend this.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum
Of the three serums that I hadn't tried before, this is probably the one that I'm most likely to actually purchase in a full size. Notable ingredients are Colloidial Oatmeal, Hyaluronic Acid, Peptides and Aloe. Obviously this ingredients list is why I really enjoyed this product. It's a lightweight, clear gel serum that applies really smoothly and without stickiness, which makes it a perfect daytime serum in my opinion. It's also really hydrating without overwhelming my skin. Definitely will be picking this up again. 

Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum
Weirdly enough, Caudalie has never been a brand that has overwhelmingly impressed me, so I was sort of here nor there about this serum as far as wanting to try it. Notable ingredients are Grape Water, Hyaluronic Acid and Grape Seed Polyphenols. This is a fairly lightweight gel cream formula, but it's a little bit sticky so this is one that I prefer for night time use. I would say that while I did find it hydrating, it just didn't really impress me on first sampling, so this is one that I'd really have to try again on a more extended basis to figure out how I feel about it. 

Josie Maran Pure Argan Milk Intensive Hydrating Treatment
This is another product that I was actually familiar (and in love) with before I got this set. If you're looking for intense, gorgeous, luxurious hydration... this milky oil treatment is absolutely amazing. Obviously, since it's Josie Maran, the notable ingredient in this treatment is Argan Oil, so if your skin doesn't react well to it this might not be for you. It's definitely for me though and when my skin gets really, really dry this is what I like to reach for. The milky texture makes it feel a little bit more lightweight on the skin and sinks in fairly quickly to the skin, but this still gives a strong punch of hydration. 

Sunday Riley TIDAL Brightening Enzyme Water Cream
I've been using this as my daytime moisturizer for past few weeks - this sample has really gone a long way - and I really, really enjoy it. Notable ingredients are Alpha Arbutin 1%, Papaya Enzymes, two forms of Hyaluronic Acid, and Tamarind Extract. I like that this cream has ingredients for both treatment of discoloration and surface exfoliation along with deeply hydrating ingredients. I absolutely don't love the smell of this cream, which is quite herbal and just not my jam, but I really can't deny how well this works for me as a daytime moisturizer. It's lightweight and sits beautifully under makeup, but really makes my skin feel hydrated and plump.

LANEIGE Water Bank Moisture Cream
I pretty much fell in love with this cream immediately. Notable ingredients are Hydro Ionized Mineral Water and Natural Moisturizing Factors (NMF). What are NMFs, you ask? Basically these are things that are already present in the uppermost layers of your skin, like amino acids and peptides, that help to keep your skin's surface intact and supple. And I love them. I love NMFs. Initially, my reaction to this cream was basically obsession for night time use. It's incredibly hydrating and, while more emollient than a gel cream, I find this to be lighter weight than a lot of other creams I've tried. It has an almost silky feel when applied, which I just absolutely love, and makes my skin look and feel amazing. I would highly, highly recommend this cream. 

Overall, I'm really, really happy that I manged to get my hands on this set because I think it was incredibly well curated. While not everything in here was for me, obviously, I definitely have a few favorites that I will personally continue using in the future. My favorites are the Boscia Tsubaki Sleeping Mask, the FAB Ultra Repair Serum, the Ole Henriksen Truth Serum, the Josie Maran Argan Milk Intense Hydrating Treatment, and the Laniege Water Bank Cream - all of which I will definitely purchase in the future. 

I hope you guys enjoyed this style of review. Though this set isn't still available, all of the products in it are, and I hope you found some insight into products that you might be interested in trying.

Thanks for reading!

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