Makeup Minis Vol.22

Makeup Minis is where I feature deluxe samples I received with my online and/or in-store purchases. I’ll give you a short description of the product, my initial impression and whether I plan to purchase a full-sized version. I am only listing 3 items per volume to keep the post short and fun! :)

NARS Optimal Brightening Concentrate

Optimal Brightening Concentrate

Wow! Can I just say I LOVE the texture of this concentrate? It’s so smooth and applies so nicely on the skin. The pearly white formula absorbs instantly leaving my face with a subtle glow and dewy finish. It has such lovely citrusy scent that unfortunately dissipates too quickly. Main ingredients include Multi-Action Vitamin C and plankton extract to revive dull skin and fade dark spots. Due to the small amount given in this sample tube, I can’t say that I’ve seen any major improvements on my dark spots but it certainly refreshes my skin every time I put it on!

Full-sized purchase?

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment

Kate Somerville
ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment

With so many exfoliating ingredients (papaya, pineapple, and pumpkin enzymes and lactic acid), no wonder this product is so effective at fighting breakouts and eliminating discolorations! It contains gentle micro-scrubbing beads to help polish the skin. It comes out shocking algae green (totally unexpected from a pristine white packaging) with a faint earthy, herbally smell. I wouldn’t say it “smooths away years in as little as 2 minutes” but my skin feels light and clean every time after use. I’ve been getting less breakouts since I started using it regularly twice a week. :)

Full-sized purchase?

Beautyblender Blendercleanser Solid

Blendercleanser Solid

I am obsessed with using solid soap to clean my makeup sponge and brushes. My favorite ones include this Blendercleanser Solid and the Sephora Dry Clean: Solid Brush Cleaner (review). I find them to be really effective at removing all kind of makeup being long-wearing or staining from the sponge/brush while still being gentle and not stripping the material. They work so fast, too! It literally cuts my washing time in half compared to when I was still using a homemade cleaning solution. This one doesn’t smell as nice as the Sephora one but it is just as effective!

Full-sized purchase?


NARS Optimal Brightening Concentrate:
US$74 at Nordstrom ○ Sephora

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment:
US$85 at Sephora

Beautyblender Blendercleanser Solid:
US$15.95 at Sephora

NARS Optimal Brightening Concentrate:
At NARS counter

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment:

Beautyblender Blendercleanser Solid:
฿675 at Sephora Thailand

Join the Conversation


  1. says: Sunny

    I loooove that Beautyblender Solid as well! Would like to try the Sephora one if I can lay my hands on it, but otherwise I’ll stick to this!

    1. says: Jaa

      If you don’t mind the smell (or curious about the Sephora one), I think you can safely skip it! The Beautyblender one works just as well! :) Sunny, I’ve been meaning to ask and this might sound stupid but do you have Sephora in Belgium? Or in the area where you live? ^_^” I’m just curious. LOL

      1. says: Sunny

        Oh no it’s not stupid! No Sephora in Belgium! The closest is France big they don’t carry all the brands like the U.S. ones!

  2. says: Meiko

    I’ve recently been liking the solid soaps too compared to liquid. I’m currently using Koren’s and the one by Clean. I have the same mini BB one can’t wait to try it now!

  3. I just ordered the Sephora Dry Clean: Solid Brush Cleaner today because of your review! Can’t wait to try it out! I am so excited that you reviewed that because I’m almost done with my BB Solid cleanser and it was time to order a new one! You’re awesome, Jaa! :)
    Before you buy a full-sized Exfolikate, I suggest you investigate Sunday Riley Good Genes serum. I’m not an expert, but I too have used Exfolikate before and had great results that I attribute to the lactic acid. If it’s working so well for you, you’d be better off investing in a lactic acid serum that stays on the skin all day/night versus something that’s rinsed off in 2 minutes. I have Good Genes and it’s AMAZING. I don’t mean to butt in to your purchasing plan, but I just thought since we have similar skin, I’d throw that out there! :) I also wanted to add (in as non-annoying of a way as is possible) that Exfolikate contains polyethylene microbeads.

    1. says: Jaa

      Wait, I think I have a sample of the Sunday Riley Good Genes serum! Thanks for the rec, Kristen. I’ll try it tonight! :D

      I was horrified when I learned about how microbeads are affecting our planet! I am definitely going to be more critical the next time I’m looking for a face scrub! I guess the re-purchase of the ExfoliKate is out of the question. :(

      1. YAY! I’m so pumped you have a sample of Good Genes! I hope it works amazingly for you!
        I’m so relived my post didn’t annoy you about the microbeads! I had no idea how bad they were for the planet until recently and now I’m horrified by how prevalent they are! They’re in TONS of products! Just walking through my house, I’ve found 4 soaps and face scrubs that contain them. Now just trying to figure out how to dispose of them as safely as possible. I see why they were so appealing; the smooth sphere doesn’t rough up the skin like say, a crushed walnut would. I always figured the beads burst open during use and dissolved. Maybe they’re working on developing that?! Anyway, I’m so glad you weren’t like “OY SHUT IT ‘BOUT THE BEADS, LADY”, lol!

        1. says: Jaa

          LOL I would never do that to you, Kristen! I found out that my long-time favorite Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Face Polish contains microbeads! I’m so sad! I just opened a new tube, too, and now I don’t know what to do with it! I never assumed that the beads would dissolve during use but I didn’t think they would be so terrible to the planet! They are so tiiiiny! But I guess there are a lot of tiny things that are REALLY bad for you! Good thing we found this out, though, and we’re at least doing something to stop it!

          1. I know! That Laura Mercier face polish is a holy grail for so many people! I assumed the beads dissolved at some point. It’s just shocking knowing they don’t and they’re hurting marine life. I’ve told a bunch of people at work about it and not a single one had any idea they were bad! I have a whole shoebox of microbead-laden products. The Sierra Club website says to throw them in the trash in their containers so they’re, well, contained. But man that goes against my core urge to recycle everything that can be recycled!

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