Friday, April 10, 2015

Sephora Favorites - The Great Cleanse Set - Review!

Hello! Hope you're all having a great day! I apologize for the long break between posting (again...); my cold apparently never went away and now it's back for round two. Also, it snowed. In April. So that was a thing. Better than the unfortunate, tornado-filled weather elsewhere, though.

For this post, I wanted to share with you my thoughts on the Sephora Favorites The Great Cleanse set (available here). This set is made up of twelve different sample and travel sized face-cleaning products including makeup removers, cleansing waters, and cleansing oils. It costs $48 and has an estimated retail value of $126. And, spoiler alert, I think you need to buy this set. Like, right now if possible. It is absolutely worth the $48 and you get a great variety of useful products! The only reason why I could see someone not needing/wanting to purchase this set is if they already found their holy grail cleansers and don't want to try anything else ever.
I, however, love to try new things and there are some awesome things in this set to try! Admittedly, I haven't tried everything in this set yet (though I have tried more now since I made my video), but I wanted to share my thoughts on the products I have tried and give you a little more information on each of the products, including sample sizes and values (many of which are actually purchasable travel sizes).
First off, the box itself gives a nice visual map of the type of products included.
You get four products that are removers (two that are oils which overlap as cleansers), six products that are cleansers, and two products that are exfoliants (the konjac sponge kind of blends into the background so you might miss it at first; I did and was surprised to find it in the set...even though it's included in the total count of twelve products so if I had counted I would have noticed).
 Inside the box, all the products come packaged in individual wells in a big plastic clamshell.
As you can see from the get-go, these are really great sample/travel sized products! A complaint that many people have had about the more recent Sephora Favorites sets (specifically the ones from last summer up through the 2014 holidays) is that the sample sizes have been getting smaller but the prices of the sets have stayed the same or even increased. Not so here! For the size and quality of these twelve products, I think $48 is a great price.
The back of the box lists the brand, full name, size, and ingredients of each product. I'm going to go in the order the products are on the front of the box (and the order they appear in columns on the back) to keep things organized ( that's how they were listed in the item description when I was doing my research).
So we'll start with the Sephora Collection Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover! This is the 1.69fl oz size and it retails for $7. You can also purchase a 4.2fl oz size for $10.50 or a 6.76fl oz for $14. This is a fairly standard dual-phase eye makeup remover and it is paraben-, sulfate-, and phthalate-free (most products in this set, with one specific exception, are paraben-, sulfate-, and phthalate-free). It also has a compound called HydroSenn+, which is a "plant-derived ingredient exclusive to Sephora that leaves skin feeling soft and luxuriously comfortable" (quote from the product description on As far as a dual-phase waterproof eye makeup remover goes, this is pretty middle-of-the-road. Not sure if it's worth buying for $7, but I'm happy it's included in this set.
Next up is the Caudalie Make-Up Remover Cleansing Water; this is a 3.38fl oz size bottle, which retails for $14. You can also purchase a 6.7fl oz bottle for $28. This is a micellaire water similar to the famous Bioderma. It is a soap-free cleanser with "no rubbing" makeup removal. It says it has a scent of orange blossom, lemon blossom, watermelon, and mint leaves, but to me it just smells fresh and clean and maybe a little floral. It's not potent or anything. It is supposed to be non-irritating and contains no animal ingredients (and it is paraben-, sulfate-, and phthalate-free). Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of cleansing waters in general; I've tried a few now (though I haven't tried Bioderma) and I find them to be most effective as the final step in removing my eye makeup. Generally, I will use an oil or cream based remover to get off most of my makeup, then I will use a regular facial cleanser, and then, if I still have any residue from my eye makeup, I will use this (or another cleansing water).
This is one of my favorite products in this set; this is the Nude Skincare Perfect Cleanse Nourishing Cleansing Oil. This product is only available in one size, 3.4fl oz for $36, so this 0.5fl oz sample size is worth about $5.30. This is a standard oil cleanser, but it has very few ingredients (most of which are just oils, including jojoba oil) and it gets my makeup off quickly and gently. It has Omega 3 & 6 and it is vegan, gluten-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, and phthalate-free. It's also made of 100% natural plant oils! I loved this product the first time I got a sample of it (I think it was in another Sephora Favorites kit, though I can't remember which one) and I love it just as much now.
When I made my review video, I hadn't had a chance to try this guy out, but now I have and I must say, it's pretty great! This is the Boscia MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil. It is the 1.7fl oz size which retails for $10 and you can buy a 5fl oz size for $28. This is another oil cleanser, similar to the Nude one above. What I really like about it is the pump; some oil cleanser like the Nude one do come with a pump, but I always find that I need at least two or three to get the job done. Other cleansers just have a stoppered top, similar to cooking oils, so you have to shake the product out, which I find annoying sometimes. One pump of this product dispenses the perfect amount of oil to clean my face. The cleanser itself is great, too, but it's the pump that really sets it apart. This product has hydrangea leaf, geranium, and botanical amino acids; it is (deep breath) preservative-, artificial fragrance-, color-, gluten-, ethanol alcohol-, paraben-, sulfate-, and phthalate-free!
On to the next group!
This is the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser; it is the 1.7fl oz size which retails for $15 and there is a 5.1fl oz size which retails for $38. I've had a full size of this product before and, while I find it to be a very effective cleanser, I hate the smell of it. Hate it. I can't stand it. It's a really strong cucumbery rosey smell that I don't think most people would find all that offensive but for some reason it just gets to me. This product is a cleansing gel rich in amino acids, soy protein, rosewater, cucumber extract, and borage seed oil. It is also fragrance-, soap-, paraben-, sulfate-, and phthalate-free. I really do like this as a cleanser and, if it wasn't for the smell, I would happily use this everyday.
Next up is the Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash in a 1fl oz sample size. You can purchase a 1.7fl oz for $12 or a 5fl oz for $21.50, making this sample worth about $4.30. This is a another product I've used before and I was pretty happy with it. It's formulated to be used with combo skin that's oily in some places and dry in others. It's very frothy and creamy and a little bit of it goes a long way. It has bergamont, spearmint, and lavender (though again it just smells fresh and clean to me, nothing specific), and it contains broad leaf kelp extract, wheat protein (so it's not gluten-free), and tourmaline (which apparently "makes water wetter" but I assume it means it helps the water molecules bind with the dirt/oil for a better rinse). It is also paraben-, sulfate-, and phthalate-free.
This is probably one of the more "cult classic" cleansers in this set; this is the Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser by Philosophy. This is a 2fl oz size; you can purchase a 3fl oz for $11, an 8fl oz for $24, a 16fl oz for $36, or a 24fl oz for $44, making this sample size worth about $4. This is the only product in this set that is not paraben-, sulfate-, or phthalate-free. It's supposed to be a "one-step" (as the name implies) cleanser and toner and it is made for all skin types. It is also safe to use in the eye area, which is nice. I always have a hard time finding a good face cleanser that I can also use on my eyes without it irritating them. This product is also fragrance-free (though it does have a kind of...industrial smell to it. It's not unpleasant, but it smells like a soap we used in art class when I was younger) and you can use it to clean your makeup brushes (you can use pretty much any facial cleanser to clean your brushes).
Next is another product I hadn't used when I made my video, but now I have! This is the Ole Henricksen (I can never tell if this brand is supposed to be one word or two; I've seen it written both ways) African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser.  This is a 1.5fl oz sample; this product only comes in one size, 7fl oz for $30, which makes this sample worth about $6.40. I normally don't like these types of liquid-to-foam cleanser (I don't like them for my face, hands, or body) because they tend to be a lot more drying than regular types of cleansers, but I didn't find that to be the case with this one! The foam it makes is rich and creamy and it doesn't leave my face feeling tight or dry. It has African red tea, vitamin C, and borage seed oil (I found it interesting that two different products in this set have borage seed oil since I haven't heard much about it as a skincare ingredient) and it is soap-, paraben-, sulfate-, and phthalate-free. It was also voted as the best natural cleanser at the Natural Health Beauty Awards.
Down to the final four!
This is the GlamGlow Powermud Dual Cleanse Treatment; it is the 0.5oz size which retails for $19, and there is a 1.7oz for $69. Ah, GlamGlow, you beautifully overpriced cult classic brand. This is a mud-to-oil cleanser and it includes Oilixer, a special blend of four oils, Claytox, a special blend of four clays, and Pureifier, a special mix of cleansers, astringents, and exfoliators. How very....vague. Haha, I know I'm being a little rough on GlamGlow; I do like their products (though the black version of the mud mask is way too intense for my skin), but I do think they're a little pricey for what they are. I have tried this product before, but it was a little bitty one-time use sample, so I don't have much to say about it besides "it was interesting". I am glad to be able to try it again, though! You can use this product once or twice a week and it is paraben-, sulfate-, and phthtalate-free.
These last three products are the ones that I have the least experience with, so I only have the information I got while researching. This is the Algenist Genius Ultimate Anti-Aging Melting Cleanser and it is the last cleansing product in this set. This product only comes in one size, 5fl oz for $38, so this 1.5fl oz sample size is worth about $11.40. Like most of Algenist's products, this cleanser contains alguronic acid and micro algae oil. It is a long-wearing/waterproof makeup remover; it is similar to an oil-type cleanser and it turns into a milky emulsion when mixed with water. It is soap-, paraben-, and sulfate-free and it is hypoallergenic and it won't clog pores. I've liked the other Algenist products I've tried (all skincare), so I hope this cleanser is just as good.
Boscia seems to be featured in this set since it has a total of three products (so 25% of the set) in it! This is a bottle of the Tsubaki Oil-Infused Exfoliating Powder. This product only comes in one size, 2.11oz for $36, so this 0.36oz sample is worth about $6.14. This is a Japanese-type exfoliating powder; you mix it with water to make a paste. Less water equals more exfoliation, more water equals less exfoliation. The grains that make up this powder are dried, then coated with tsubaki oil; for more hydration, you can mix the powder with tsubaki oil instead of water. It is gentle enough to use everyday and it is preservative-, artificial fragrance-, color-, gluten-, ethanol alcohol-, paraben-, sulfate-, and phthalate-free. The only Tsubaki oil product from Boscia I've tried was the gel-oil cleanser and I wasn't too impressed by it, so I reserving judgment on this product until I give it a try.
And finally we have a mini konjac sponge from Boscia! This little guy is made from 100% perservative-fre konjac root from the Jeju island in Korea. It is naturally alkaline and it helps balance the acidity and pH of your skin. You can use this one your face, neck, and even in the undereye area, which I thought was pretty neat! I've used a few konjac sponges before (the Julep one I know was konjac, I'm using an ecotools one that I'm not sure is 100% konjac) and I really like them; they provide a very gentle exfoliation and help me achieve a better clean than with my fingers alone. You can get a trio of these mini-sized konjac sponges (there's a normal one like this, a charcoal one, and a tsubaki-infused one) for $16, making this single one worth about $5.30.

And that's everything! Twelve great products in very nice deluxe sample/travel sizes! After adding up the values of each product from what I've calculated, I got a total retail value of  $107.84, which is a bit less than the projected retail value of $126, but that's partly because I used the cheapest price per ounce I could find and we all know that companies will charge more per ounce in smaller sizes because they can. Even at a value of about $108, you're still getting double the value of what you paid for, and, if you're like me and you like trying new things, this is the perfect set for you!

Thanks for reading! <3

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