I'm going to review the Normal Skin Sample Kit from the Annemarie Gianni skin care line. I bought this with my own money so there is no influence at all from being given the samples. I'm not popular enough to be given samples :)
Annmarie Gianni Skin Care
I don't actually know of her, but it seems Annmarie Gianni is known in the health world... She started a skin care line after being disappointed with what was available in skin care, especially the choices in natural skin care that doesn't contain preservatives and other chemical ingredients. The products are organic, natural and wildcrafted (picked in the wild to make the products if I understand that correctly).
There actually are not that many products in this line and it really makes it feel like the products are not made to appeal to people who like such and such scent and ones who like this texture of product, etc. etc. but really made to work for the skin type and that's it. It can be seen as a negative that there aren't a gazillion things to choose from, but it also shows how confident they are in their existing products and how the emphasis is on it WORKING.
The package arrived fast enough and with a sachet of lavender in it so it smelled amazing and I could have just left my face in the bag. The sample looks EXACTLY like it does in this picture except that it was smaller than I expected. The little bag was no bigger than my palm.
It's very much worth noting that this sample kit comes with a 10$ rebate off the purchase of any full-sized product. Meaning: if you liked any of the products enough to buy, your sample kit will have cost you nothing.
First product: Aloe-herb Cleanser (3/5 stars)
I had enough for about 5 uses. I don't use very much product and I'm used to no-soap cleansers (everyone should be, don't use soap on your face!) but someone who wears a lot of make-up or is used to soap and how it lathers will be using more and therefore have less use out of this small sample.
It smelled nice and lemony and felt nice on the skin. It leaves the skin soft and does not strip the skin of its natural oils. A cleanser needs to leave the skin not NEEDING a moisturizer (though you should use some anyway) and this one passes that test.
I liked using this more than my regular Aveeno Ultra-Calming Moisturizing Cleanser but a large part of that was the smell (I like natural smells like this and my Aveeno has a sort of not unpleasant but not great pool type smell). It seemed to do the same thing for my skin as Aveeno and for the price, I will continue to use Aveeno 100%.
I liked it less than the sample I tried of Eminence Lime Cleansing Masque. It might not be the right thing to compare it to since the cleansing masque is also a masque, but they have a similar scent and are both organic and natural AND the Annmarie Gianni one is actually more expensive (maybe 25% more). So let's just say this is not a product I'd invest in when I have a better alternative that does more for my skin available.
Second product: Neroli Toning Mist (star rating pending)
I will change this review later, explanation below.
I LOVED this product. It came in a nice little spray bottle and I didn't count but contained maybe 30-40 spritzes (4 spritzes for the face, twice a day, good for 4-5 days). I have to say again that I just loved this stuff. It has such an amazing and gorgeous scent, very light. Feels great on the skin and really does tone the skin. Not recommended for dry skin but it definitely is (strongly) recommended for oily, normal or combination skin like mine.
The reason that I don't know how to rate it is because I checked and found that the only ingredient is organic neroli hydrosol and by searching around, I found that neroli hydrosol (not organic though I must mention) can be found for a small fraction of the price that this product is being sold for. So I ordered it and am waiting to compare the two to see if this one is different and better or just the organic same thing for a much more expensive price. Update to come once I receive and try the new product and try them out side by side.
((small update if you click HERE))
Third product: Herbal Facial Oil for Normal/Combination Skin (4/5 stars)
I've tried olive oil with castor oil for cleansing skin so I know that oil CAN work for any skin type. This one wasn't for cleansing though, it was as a moisturizer. That idea is new to me... I wondered: Won't it make my skin oily since I'm not washing it away? Well, it actually absorbs very well into the skin and the first time I used it, I swear my skin had this awesome little tingle of goodness.
The little bottle was a bit difficult to use and left me unsure of how much I should put on my face... I tried it in different quantities and different ways: a little with my moisturizer, a little alone, a lot. All of it was good! It does absorb very well into the skin as I wrote, but I have a pretty oily T-zone and preferred to use my regular moisturizer during the day (made for oily skin). Since I also have some really dry patches of skin, this was perfect as a night moisturizer.
This facial oil smells really nice and I quite loved it. Very earthy and "real". I really hate perfume and scents normally but I love the smell of nature and this was it.
Final evaluation of the sample kit: (4/5 stars)
The products are of very good quality and definitely worth trying especially for problematic skin types. I recommend trying out a sample kit that suits your skin type to see what you think of it, but I don't recommend buying the full sized product without trying a sample first. With the sample kit coming with a 10$ rebate, it's a no-loss option since your kit will have cost 0$ if you choose to buy any full sized product.
The only negative aspect of these products was the price. I find the cost to be out of reach for most people, especially when it comes to building a full skin care routine with this skin care line. To cleanse, tone, moisturize and treat your skin with Annmarie products, you'd be spending... well, it's really very hard to put a cost on it but I'm guessing over 1000$ per year. This may or may not be a problem for you though and you should adjust my stars accordingly.
For me, cost is a factor in determining my rating.