Hydra-Total 5 Ultra-Even Ritual

Hey Everyone!

I know I haven’t been posting in a long time, life catches up with us and things slip away. However, I wanted to come write a post about some products that I received for free so that I could try them and write some reviews. Just as a note, the fact that I received these for free does not impact my opinion on these products and so everything you will read is my honest opinion.

The products that I received are from a new skincare line from L’Oreal called Hydra-Total 5. There are several different options but the line that I received was the Ultra-Even line, meant to help even out skin tone as well as hydrating, illuminating, and improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.


There are four products in the Ultra-Even line: a scrub, a toner, a lotion, and a moisturizer. I have been testing all four products out since I received them and have been able to form an opinion on them now.


First, we have the Ultra-Even Scrub. L’Oreal claims that this scrub will cleanse, exfoliate, even skin tone, illuminate, and smooth. I have been using this scrub twice a day, once when I wake up, and once before I go to bed. I was a little bit worried about the texture of the scrub, since it is finely milled, I didn’t want it to be too abrasive of an exfoliant. This is especially true because for some reason lately, I’ve been breaking out which is unusual for me, and I didn’t want this scrub to be irritating my problem areas.

I have really been enjoying the texture of this scrub! It doesn’t feel too harsh but is exfoliating enough to feel like it’s really cleaning your face. My face definitely feels clean after using it and does feel smooth, although it is still important to make sure you moisturize after using it. I have normal skin that isn’t sensitive to new products so I can’t speak to other skin types, but I am quite enjoying this and think that it will replace my regular face scrub!


The next product that I was sent is the Ultra-Even Toner. This toner is said to tone, remove impurities, even skin tone, illuminate, and smooth. Now, I use toners every day, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not sure they do all that they claim. This isn’t referring to this toner specifically, but rather toners in general. I’m not sure if the product can illuminate and smooth your skin or not. What I look for in a toner, is whether it helps get extra residue off of my skin and out of my pores so that my moisturizer can be more effective.

I have been using this toner twice a day as well, immediately after cleansing both morning and night. I do notice that there is extra stuff coming off of my face when I use this toner so I consider it a success! It does have a scent to it that reminds me of a lemon household cleaner but I kind of like the smell. The only problem is the use of alcohol in the toner which isn’t great for the skin but isn’t a complete deal breaker for me. This isn’t the best toner I’ve ever used but I do like it so I think I would repurchase.


Next up, we have the Ultra-Even Lotion. This lotion has SPF 20 which is absolutely great because it seems like not enough skincare lines place a focus on including SPF. This one claims to moisturize, even skin tone, protect, illuminate, and smooth. I always worry a little bit about the consistency of products with SPF. I find that they can be thick and gummy, and don’t spread or absorb very well. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this product. It spreads nicely, absorbs quickly, and doesn’t have much of a scent. I have been using this only in the morning between my toner and moisturizer and have been quite happy with it. This is another product that I would repurchase.


Finally, we received the Ultra-Even moisturizer which is said to moisturize, reduce dark spots, even skin tone, illuminate, and smooth. This product is quite a bit thicker than the lotion and that worried me a little bit in terms of spread and absorption once again. I don’t like moisturizers to take a long time to absorb because in the morning, I hate waiting forever to be able to put my makeup on. This moisturizer absorbs so quickly though, it was astonishing! I am really happy with this moisturizer, I feel like it has been improving the dryness in my skin since I’ve been using it which is really important since the winter air is so hard on my face. I would repurchase this one too!

I have been making a conscious effort to be using all of these products so that I can give an effective review of them. The only product outside of this line that I’ve been using is my eye cream, and that’s just because this line does not have it’s own eye cream. I have found all of the products in this line to be effective and would repurchase all of them! Like I said, I have normal skin without sensitivities so I would recommend the product to people of similar skin type but can not speak to how it would work for others. I would say this product is definitely worth trying out and it is relatively low cost in the realm of skin care which is great!

Thanks for reading!

xo Amanda

#5Works #Beyond Hydration




SampleSource Fall 2014

So when I wrote my upcoming unboxings post, I completely forgot about my SampleSource box that I had coming in the mail. I don’t know how I could forget because this company and the box they send are so exciting! This is only my first SampleSource box and I am so excited that I have gotten involved with this program.


Some of you may already know what SampleSource is but for those that don’t, it is a “try before you buy” program. When you first sign up, you answer a questionnaire about yourself and your demographics. SampleSource gathers products and sends out boxes 3 or 4 times a year (with the new seasons). When they are ready to send out the new boxes, you will receive an email that asks you a few more questions relating to yourself and also the products that they have available. After going through this, it will list the products they have available that match your profile and preferences. You select which ones you are interested in receiving and 4-6 weeks later you get them in the mail.

Everything that is sent out in these boxes is free to you, all the company asks is that you use the products when you receive them and fill out any surveys that they send you about the products. This is an amazing company and I am so excited to be able to write this post.

Anything else you would like to know about the company and this program you can find at their website http://www.samplesource.comIMG_20141024_144651_edit

Although I did receive everything in this box for free, this will not influence my opinions on the products. In this amazing box I got 17 different samples. 17!!! Can you believe it? Just amazing. Please beat with me since this blog is new, I am working on getting a better camera to use. Until then, the pictures will not be the most beautiful thing in the world. Sorry!


The first product I want to talk about is the John Frieda Full Repair set. This little set came with a sample of the Strengthen + Restore Shampoo which “restores strength without weighing hair down”. It also included the Hydrate + Rescue Deep Conditioner which “weightlessly restores moisture to dry, dull hair for enhanced softness and shine”.

I am pretty excited about these! I definitely have dry hair and my hair is fine so the fact this claims to moisturize without weighing hair down is very exciting! The third panel talks about the Full Repair Repairing Oil Elixir that smoothes, shines, and strengthens. This panel is pretty flat so I’m not sure if it is empty or contains a small sample of the oil. I will have to investigate later and get back to you! These sell for around $9 for the full size of the shampoo (250 ml) and conditioner (115 ml). The oil sells for around $12 in the full size.

IMG_20141024_144736_editThe next sample is another John Frieda product (there are quite a few in this box which is great!). This one is the Sheer Blonde Go Blonder LighteningShampoo. It claims to gradually lighten in 3 uses and it provides shampoo samples for days 1, 2 and 3. It says that it uses citrus and chamomile to lighten and renew hair.

This is very interesting! I am blonde so this is definitely great. It is also ammonia and peroxide free so this makes me happy. I am skipping hair appointments at the moment to try and grow my hair out so this might be a nice pick me up for my hair since I’m not getting my highlights refreshed either. This shampoo sells for around $9 for the full size (250 ml).


The next John Frieda product is the Sheer Blonde Colour Renew Tone Correcting Shampoo. Much like the Go Blonder Shampoo, this is said to change your hair gradually over 3 days and it will take your hair from brassy to blonde. This once again provides samples for days 1, 2, and 3. This one is also ammonia and peroxide free which is great!

A lot of my more blonde colouring is from my highlights but I am not sure if they are brassy. I am really interested in seeing if this will have any colour changing effects on my hair! Very cool that we got so many different types of samples. This shampoo sells for around $9 for a full size (250 ml).


The last John Frieda product in the box is the Secret Weapon Touch Up Crème with avocado oil. It says that it “seals hair to eliminate frizz and flyaways”. The way you use it is to apply it to dry hair. Rub a small amount into palms, pull through hair concentrating on the ends.

I definitely have frizz and flyaways a lot of the time since my hair is long and fine so it is easily messed up. I am really excited about this product! Not only that but 30 ml is a generous size considering you really wouldn’t need to use much product at a time. Total score! The full size (115 ml) of this crème sells for around $9.


This next product is from Jergens and it is the Ultra Care Moisturizer. It says “This unique formula contains an illuminating Hydralucence blend, as well as enriching vitamins C, E, and B5. Penetrates through 5 layers of the skin’s surface to deeply nourish and soften extra dry skin”

I love moisturizers so I am excited to try this. It does not say anything about a scent for this lotion so I am excited to see what it smells like. I will let you know. It also comes with a coupon for $1.00 off of any Jergens Moisturizer that is 100 ml or larger. The full size (775 ml) of this sells for about $8 and that is super inexpensive for such a large product!
IMG_20141024_144901_editThis is the cutest little deodorant. I would say that this is a travel size which is quite generous. This is the Dove Go Sleeveless 48h Beauty Finish Anti-Perspirant with nutrium moisture. I normally use a different type of Dove deodorant so I am really excited that I got this! The scent of this deodorant is just a clean, soap type of smell. Definitely not offensive at all!

The full size of this is 45 g and sells for about $3 so this is definitely a good size sample at 14 g. Very excited about this!


This is a great sample because who doesn’t need toothpaste. I am almost out of my current tube so this came at a great time! This is the Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant Whitening & Enamel Strengthening Toothpaste. It is a Fresh Mint Flavor so hopefully it tastes good!

This sample is 18 ml and the full size (90 ml) sells for about $3.


This sample is a package of 2 Breathe Right Nasal Strips. I have never tried these strips but I definitely could have used them last week since I am just getting over the cold that never ends. I am excited to try them the next time that I have a cold (not that I want to be sick!).

This package has 2 strips but the full size has 30 strips and sells for about $18.


Next we have the Schick Hydro 5 Razor. This razor is typically for men but I find that mens razors sometimes have a closer shave than women’s do and I am not opposed to using them at all. I kind of prefer using them for my underarms! This one has a hydrating gel reservoir and 5 ultra glide blades to reduce irritation. It also has a top part that can flip and be used as a trimmer. This is super cool!

This package has one razor with one cartridge. The retail version comes with an extra cartridge and sells for $10. I was going to pass this along to one of my brothers but I think I am going to keep it for myself.


These are two separate samples from the brand Ice Breakers. The package on the left are the Fruit + Cool Duo Mints in Raspberry. The ones on the right are the Frost Mints in Wintercool. I have tried the Raspberry ones before and they are delish! I am really excited to have them again. The mint ones sound really good too so I can’t wait to try them.

Each of these packages has 2 pieces in them. The full sizes of these are 36 g and sell for $2.


This is a full size chocolate bar. A FULL SIZE?! Can you believe it? I am so excited about this one. This is the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar with Almonds. I have had these before and they are delicious. I am super happy about getting this in the box. This full size bar is 43 g and retails for about $1.25.


This is the Kellogg’s Special K Cookies & Creme flavour Pastry Crisps. This is a new flavour for Special K and it looks great. Each package is 100 calories for 2 crisps. SampleSource also gave us a $.50 off on a box of these in either the Cookies & Creme flavour or the Chocolatey Caramel flavour. A regular box has 10 of these packages and sells for about $3. Much like everything else in the box, this definitely excites me!


Next up are the Brookside Dark Chocolate Açai with Blueberry snacks. I have had these before and they are really tasty! My mom’s eyes lit up when she saw this in the box so I may have to share these with everyone. This package is 20 g and the full size (595 g) retails for about $9.


When selecting the products to put in your box, you got to choose between Green, Chai, and Earl Grey teas. I’m not a tea drinker and my mom doesn’t like any of these flavours too much so I got the green. A lot of the people I work with like green tea so I figured it would go to good use with one of them. We got 2 tea bags in this box, the full size comes with 20 bags and retails for about $4.


The final product in our box was a Finish Power & Free Dishwasher Pack. Things like this are always handy because with 5 people living in our house, we need to wash dishes a LOT. This will definitely go to good use. The full size of this comes with 16 packs and sells for about $8.

Phew, that was a lot! What a great box. I am so thankful to have received all of this awesome stuff! I think that I will try this stuff out for a little while and come back with a review of the products I got in the box in maybe a week or two. I would definitely recommend this box for anyone who loves to try out a bunch of awesome products and help out great companies!

xo Amanda