I managed to give Priceline's Beauty Bag a miss earlier this year, but for the second year in a row, the skin care goodie bag proved to be hard to resist. Though I've only used a fraction of the items in last year's bag and given away at least half of the contents to family and friends, logic and moderation clearly weren't involved in my decision-making process. From 20 to 22 June, if you spend $60 or more on selected brands (including Dove, Aveeno, Nivea, Palmer's, Bioré, Avene, Sanctuary Spa, Formula 10.0.6 and Yes To), you get a veritable bounty of lotions, cleansers, scrubs and lip balms purportedly worth over $220. In light of my current elevated interest in skin care, I thought it would be a good opportunity to acquire new products I'd willingly pay for, while incidentally receiving a bucketload of freebies.
The most agonising part was figuring out what to buy to qualify for the gift. Somehow, I thought that browsing Priceline in my 30 minute lunch break was a good idea. I had about 5 minutes left and I still wasn't sure of what I'd picked out, and for a second I contemplated dropping everything and walking out the door, completely negating the 20 minutes I'd already spent looking through the aisles, picking up products, putting them down, and searching for reviews on my mobile. Finally, I settled on Dove Foaming Make Up Remover, Formula 10.0.6 Deep Down Detox Ultra-Cleansing Mud Mask Orange + Bergamot, Sanctuary Spa Brightening Facial Polishing Hot Cloth Cleanser and Sanctuary Spa Therapist's Secret Facial Oil.
The Dove Foaming Make Up Remover is a repurchase (I'm almost done with my second bottle now, and this would be the third). I find it's the strongest and most effective makeup remover that I have, short of a cleansing oil. When I want to really get the makeup off or if there's more makeup gunk than normal on my face, I'll use this as a first cleanse before my Dove Cleanser & Toner in One. It's also brilliant at getting rid of all traces of lipstick or eyeshadow from my arm after I've photographed swatches for the blog.
I was fairly sure I wanted to get the Sanctuary Spa Therapist's Secret Facial Oil, only because I'm a huge believer in face oils and Sanctuary Spa seemed to be the only participating brand that offered one (Sukin was excluded this year, and other brands stocked by Priceline like Grown, Trilogy or A'kin were sadly not part of the deal). I'm looking forward to using this in rotation with my four other face oils (yep, I'm obsessed).
The Sanctuary Spa Polishing Hot Cloth Cleanser was really more for the novelty than anything else, given the resemblance in name to Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, a product I'd always been curious about but haven't had the chance to try. After one attempt at cleaning my face with the included muslin cloth, I gave up and have been using this in the shower as I would any cream cleanser. It has a very thick, creamy consistency and feels quite luxurious on, though it's also heavily scented which might be a turnoff for some.
Formula 10.0.6 Deep Down Detox Ultra-Cleansing Mud Mask was purchased after being persuaded by unexpectedly good reviews while looking it up on my mobile as I was trying to pick a final product to buy. I used this on for the first time last weekend and boy, did it sting almost to an unbearable extent around my nose. It was all worth it however, after I followed up washing off the mask with my first Bioré pore strip in several months to deeply satisfying results. Chrissy Teigen knows what I'm talking about.
Like every single Priceline freebie bag, everything comes in a Models Prefer tote. After mock croc, snakeskin and leopard print versions, this time it was faux black patent leather. The bags are more of an afterthought and convenient vessel to lug around (or store) a heavy load — I don't think they're much of a pulling factor in and of themselves to buy $60 of products, especially since they're not exactly amazing quality.
Palmer's Daily Calming Facial Lotion
I'm on the lookout for a good new lotion after discovering my beloved Dove Essential Nutrients Protective Day Cream has seemingly been discontinued. I wanted to buy a few tubs with this promotion but it's disappeared from the shelves. Not sure how my skin will get along with the cocoa butter in the Palmer's, but we'll see.
Palmer's Twin Pack Lip Balm
I'm loyal to my Maybelline Baby Lips, but I wouldn't mind giving these a go.
Puretopia Smooth & Renew Gentle Exfoliating Face Scrub
I'll consider this a steep downgrade from the Antipodes Reincarnation Pure Facial Exfoliator I'm currently using, but who knows, I could be pleasantly surprised. At any rate, exfoliation is an unmissable part of any skin care routine and I have a feeling it'll be gentler than my St Ives Apricot Scrub.
Sanctuary Body Scrub
I think I'll be a while yet before I really get into body care, but this scrub does seem like one of the nicer products in the bag.
Nude by Nature Super Anti-oxidant Foaming Cleanser
I didn't even know this brand did skin care, but I'd be keen to see how this stacks up against my Dove Cleanser & Toner in One, and whether it does a decent job at removing makeup.
Vaseline Total Moisture Dry Skin Lotion
Still have my other Vaseline body lotion from last year's bag, which we can take as a pretty accurate predictor of whether I'll be using this one.
Dove Visible Beauty Revitalising Beauty Body Lotion
Nivea Lip Care Essential
I wish I had received the strawberry-flavoured one, because I am five.
Chapstick Ultra SPF30
Even more boring than my non-strawberry Nivea, but SPF is important and things.
Dermalex Adult Eczema Repair Cream (not pictured)
First product I was extremely keen to give away to a friend who might actually benefit from it.
Beauty Essentials Sorbolene Cream
Clearly the 2kg of body lotions in this bag weren't enough, so they threw in this one as well.
Formula 10.0.6 Overnight Success
I don't have a great track record of finishing up anything packaged in a sachet, but I may remember to give this a go if I start to breakout (I think they're meant to be small, circular spot-minimising patches?).
Bioré Steam Activated Cleanser
I really disliked the Bioré Clean Things Up Nourishing Gel Cleanser (which was anything but) in last year's bag, but hopefully I'll have a better experience with this one. Otherwise I'll resign myself to the fact the only relationship I have with Bioré is with their pore strips.
Skinvitals Hydraflex Face/Visage Mask
I still have the Skinvitals mask from last year's bag (this seems to be a recurring theme as I go down the list of products). It's unbelievable in the space of one year I haven't mustered up the will to use it. I'm not a fan of sheet masks in general (I much prefer to put product on my face and wash it off) and something about the packaging seems quite clinical and uninviting. But I really should get cracking with at least the old one.
Yes To Blueberries Travel Cleansing Towelettes
One of the standout items in the bag, though I was under the impression this would be a full pack like last year's 30-pack of Yes To Cucumber Facial Towelettes. The smaller size makes it more suited for travel, so I may bring this along to my next holiday.
Swisspers Cucumber Facial Cleansing Wipes
These look repackaged as I still have travel-sized packs of these wipes with slightly different packaging. Provided there's been no change to the actual product, I'm happy with the inclusion of these as they're my favourite cleansing wipes.
Dr Lewinn's Essential Bio Care Oil
A treatment oil said to be for dry skin and to minimise the appearance of stretch marks and scars. I don't really have those among my skin concerns, but I guess I could still use this in place of a body moisturiser ... or possibly on my face.
Aveeno Positively Radiant Eye Illuminator
Honestly, I'm not entirely sure what this is. Is it makeup? Is it basically a moisturiser for the eye bags?
Avene Thermal Spring Water
Oh yes. Chuck one of these in here, and I'm sold. I have a huge can at home and a small one in my bag at all times. I don't care that I'm paying for water in a can, I love it.