You all know my love of all things skincare, and today I’m writing about how to try out new products without the large investment. Value and gift sets are my favorite way to sample new brands. You get a little bit of everything, and if you end up liking the product, you can purchase the full size and keep the value sets as travel friendly options. Added bonus: Every brand I’m talking about today is cruelty-free!
First up: Tata Harper – Tata’s Daily Essentials Kit | $75 | Buy
This is a complete skin care routine formulated to target signs of aging. Tata Harper is completely free of toxins, artificial fragrances and colors, synthetic chemicals, and GMOs. Her products are a little pricey, so this kit is perfect for sampling a few products from her line.
The set includes:
– 0.5 oz Regenerating Cleanser (Full Size Retail: $42 for 1.7 oz, $82 for 4.1 oz)
This cleanser uses apricot seed powder to exfoliate your skin and leave it looking refreshed. Also formulated with pink clay and pomegranate enzymes to remove buildup on your skin. Grapefruit essential oil provides a citrus scent.
– 0.25 oz Resurfacing Mask (Full Size Retail $62)
This exfoliating mask is great for dull or uneven skin. Beet extract promotes hydration, willowbark sloughs off dead skin cells, and bergamot essential oils provide a citrus scent. Use everyday for 2 or 3 days, then reduce to 1 day a week.
– 0.5 oz Hydrating Floral Essence (Full Size Retail $68)
This gentle toner helps deliver and retain moisture to give your skin a plumper, smoother appearance.
– 0.33 oz Rejuvenating Serum (Full Size Retail $110)
This is one of Tata Harper’s best sellers. This serum uses hyaluronic acid and antioxidants to help smooth fine lines and moisturize the skin. Vitamin C from date palm extract strengthens the skin barrier, vitamin A from rosehip seed oil helps minimize visible signs of aging, and jasmine essential oil provides a floral scent.
– 0.33 oz Reparative Moisturizer (Full Size Retail $110)
This moisturizer provides hydration for optimal moisture balance and a plumped appearance. It contributes to a radiant complexion, leaving the skin with a dewy finish.
– 0.03 oz Restorative Eye Crème (Full Size Retail $98)
This eye treatment helps minimize the appearance of fine lines wrinkles and reduces puffiness and dark circle for refreshed eyes. And really, who doesn’t need a good eye creme?
– 0.1 oz Replenishing Nutrient Complex (Full Size Retail $125)
This facial oil uses rosehip to hydrate your skin and smooth fine lines. It also helps control breakouts and controls sebum production.
I haven’t tried all of the products in this set yet, but out of the ones I’ve been able to use, I’m highly impressed. I have normal to dry skin, and the cleanser hasn’t made my skin feel too dry after use. The moisturizer has a nice scent, and isn’t too heavy when applied. I’ve used the Nutrient Oil a few times, and I really like it. I’m always hesitant to put oils on my face because I’m scared they will make me break out, but this is a pleasant surprise. It’s very light and I have noticed a slight improvement to my skin after just a little over a week of usage.
Next Up: Tatcha – Best Sellers Set | $60 | Buy
Tatcha is one of my favorite brands. Their products work well with my skin, and I don’t hate the price point. I have never used cleansing oil or rice powder, so I bought this set even though I already have the skin mist.
This set includes:
– 0.8 oz Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil (Full Size Retail $48)
A light makeup remover full of antioxidants and cleanser formulated with camellia and rice bran oils that gently removes makeup and leaves your skin feeling like silk.
– 0.35 oz Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder (Full Size Retail $65)
Made of rice brand, this exfoliant is activated with water. It polishes and smoothes your skin. I was very impressed with how this performed on my skin.
– 0.34 oz The Water Cream (Full Size Retail $68)
This is a great moisturizer for the end of your skin care routine. Japanese wild rose visibly tightens pores and smooths skin texture. Japanese leopard lily helps control excess oil and purify skin by supporting natural skin cell turnover.
– 0.4 oz Luminous Dewy Skin Mist (Full Size Retail $48)
This is perfect to carry in your purse to re-up on moisture throughout the day. Formulated with a combination of Okinawa red algae and hyaluronic acid, this spray provides a ton of hydration to the skin.
I had high hopes for this set, and I wasn’t disappointed. I don’t see myself using the cleansing oil on a daily basis, but that’s mostly because of my aversion to oils in general. The rice enzyme powder is my favorite product in this kit. You place a small amount in your palm, add a little bit of water, and it’s all set to use. It left my skin feeling so smooth and clean.
Third: Biossance – Weightless Hydration Essentials | $34 | Buy
I love Biossance. Every one of their products contains squalane. If you don’t know what that is, you can find a quick rundown on their site here.
This set includes:
– 0.4 oz 100% Squalane Oil (Full Size Retail: $58)
This oil is incredibly moisturizing. Put this on at the end of your skin care routine and you’ll be set for the day.
– 0.13 oz Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel (Full Size Retail: $54)
This eye gel is great for under eye circles and puffiness. You only need a small amount to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
– 0.34 oz Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer (Full Size Retail: $52)
This is incredibly lightweight, which I always look for in a good moisturizer. It calms any redness I have in the morning, and gives my skin a nice dewy look.
– 4 Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Cloths (Full Size Retail $18 for 25 individually wrapped cloths)
These are basically glorified makeup remover wipes. I like that they’re alcohol-free and contain antioxidants to help nourish your skin.
I love everything in this set besides the cleansing cloths. They’re nice, they’re effective, but do I really need to spend almost $20 on makeup wipes? No. I’ve used their eye gel every night for the past couple weeks and have noticed a difference in the little lines around my eyes.
Last but not least, Drunk Elephant – The Littles Set | $90 | Buy
I’ve had my eye on Drunk Elephant for a long time, but haven’t worked up the guts to make the investment. $90 may seem like a lot for a bunch of travel sized products, but compared to buying every item in this set at full price, this is an absolute steal. Drunk Elephant is free from any artificial dyes, scents, chemicals, or silicones that you don’t want on your face. I must admit that I’ve only tried a couple of the products in this set, but what I’ve sampled so far has been amazing.
This set includes:
– 1 oz Beste™ No. 9 Jelly Cleanser (Full Size Retail: $34)
This cleanser is alcohol-free and does a great job at removing makeup and oil from the day.
– 0.27 oz C-Firma™ Day Serum (Full Size Retail: $80)
This serum is full of antioxidants to help reduce the signs of aging. It’s formulated with an antioxidant complex that includes 15% l-ascorbic acid, 0.5% ferulic acid, 1% vitamin E, and other enzymes that reduce dark spots and wrinkles.
– 0.27 oz B-Hydra™ Intensive Hydration Serum (Full Size Retail: $52)
If your skin is feeling a little dry or dull, this serum is perfect for you. It’s formulated with provitamin B and pineapple ceramide to help strengthen the moisture barrier, allowing you to retain more moisture throughout the day.
– 0.5 oz Umbra™ Sheer Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 (Full Size Retail: $34)
This is a great daily sunscreen. It’s formulated with astaxanthin, grape juice extract and sunflower shoot extract to help defend from free radicals in the air. It’s super light, and won’t leave you looking like a ghost.
– 0.27 oz T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum (Full Size Retail: $90-$134)
This night serum is an awesome exfoliator, and helps strip dead skin away, but doesn’t leave your face feeling overly dry. Like the name suggests, I recommend using this at night, since it can leave your skin sensitive to sunlight.
– 0.27 oz Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil (Full Size Retail: $40-$72)
This facial oil is described as rehab for your skin. It’s high in important antioxidants, rich in omegas 6 and 9, and helps to moisturize and nourish your skin while giving you a nice glow. It’s reduces fine lines, wrinkles, redness, and blotchiness over time. Since it’s highly absorbable, this oil is great for all skin types.
– 0.5 oz Lala Retro™ Whipped Cream (Full Size Retail: $60)
I love this lightweight moisturizer. It literally has a nice whipped texture, making it nice and airy. It contains six African oils to lock in moisture for hours. Fermented green tea fights signs of aging and relieves irritation from free radicals in the environment.
– 0.17 oz Shaba Complex™ Eye Serum (Full Size Retail: $60)
This serum fights signs of aging around the eyes like fine lines, wrinkles, and sun damage. It contains black tea ferment and copper peptides that slow down the signs of aging before they appear. I like using this in the morning after a long night. It reduces puffiness and helps me look more awake before I’ve had my morning espresso.
I love this set. You really get to try a little bit of everything from the brand, from their best sellers to their most expensive products. My favorites from this set are the Eye Serum, Whipped Cream, and Day Serum. What I love most about Drunk Elephant is the fact that they never use the “Suspicious 6” in their products (Essential Oils, Drying Alcohols, Silicones, Chemical Screens, Fragrance/Dyes and SLS) This makes most, if not all of their products appropriate for every skin type.