apologies for the less than glamorous condition of these little pots but it's what's inside that counts. i recently discovered beingcontent.com and their amazing sample service. basically you can pick any four products on their website and request samples of them for only £3 (about $5.50AUD) with free worldwide shipping. it's perfect for trying out a product in case you don't like the smell or texture, if you have sensitive skin or are allergy prone, or like me if you're just curious and want to give products a try before parting with your cash.
given that BeingContent makes a point of only stocking natural, organic makeup and skincare, they don't sell everything under the sun but they do have a decent selection including brands like REN, pai & oskia, and it's perfect if using products with organic ingredients is important to you. you can request samples of makeup but i was naturally drawn to the skincare and chose a few products that have had a lot of hype in the beauty world. masks and serums are two of the most expensive areas to invest in but they have also become my favourites because they make such a big difference to my complexion. i thought it might be helpful if i offered my first impressions and whether or not i would buy the full size product after using the sample, so here's what i picked:
oskia renaissance mask (£48.50 / about $90.00 AUD for 50ml)
you know i almost wish i never tried this mask because i love it so much i'm seriously considering spending close to $100 on the full size. this mask uses lactic acid and AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) derived from fruit to boost cell regeneration and brighten and resurface the skin. the sample i got contained enough product for two uses which makes me think the full size would last forever. after the first use my complexion was so much smoother and more radiant that i'm saving the rest to use before a special occasion. i can definitely see why this mask has won so many awards, its praise is well deserved. and as for the less important details, it's a pretty pale grapefruit colour and smells of chamomile and roses. i'm in love.
REN no.1 purity cleansing balm (£23.00 / about $43.00 AUD for 100ml)
again this sample came with enough product for two uses and i really enjoyed it. it's very smooth and melts away your makeup so easily, doesn't irritate the eyes and has a vaguely floral but mostly neutral scent. i actually don't need a new cleansing balm at the moment but when i use up what i've got this will probably be next in line. and i believe it used to come in a tub but they've repackaged it into a tube now, which is much more travel friendly.
REN radiance perfection serum (£35.00 / about $65.00 AUD for 30ml)
if fading acne scarring or generally evening out your skintone is a concern for you i definitely recommend getting a sample of this. if i had the full size i would probably be using it all over my face, but since i don't i've been using it as a spot treatment around my chin where i have some scars from old blemishes. the little pot was by no means full when it arrived, but it contains enough product that i've been able to use this serum morning and night for weeks (and will continue to be able to for several more weeks) which i think is really important when trying out a product like this because you'll only start to see a difference after continued use. my scars haven't disappeared completely but this serum has definitely noticeably reduced them. i'd also really like to try the REN resurfacing AHA concentrate which BeingContent doesn't seem to have right now, but once my sample runs out i'll be looking at buying one of the two.
REN invisible pores detox mask (£18.00 / about $33.50 AUD for 50ml)
this much talked about cleansing mask uses french clay and lavender to decongest the skin, draw out impurities and leave it looking clear. the consistency of this mask is so smooth, i only got one use out of the sample but it was enough to convince me to buy the full size. it feels lovely on the skin, smells of lavender and most importantly, like all the REN skincare i've tried so far, it works.