The Her Campus George Mason team recently received our Fall 2019 Survival Kits! In addition to Emergen-C vitamins, Garnier samples and Extra gum (which is more vital in college than I can express), the brand Mary Kay sent over some skincare goodies from their new Naturally line. Apparently, Her Campus is choosing to overlook claims that multi-level marketing strategies used by many brands, including Mary Kay, take advantage of women. But hey, they sent me free skincare products. So, naturally, here’s an in-depth review:
According to Mary Kay, the new products are “right in step with your daily routine, and the gentle formulas are suitable for sensitive skin.” The Naturally line is the brand’s first natural-certified skincare line and also features “environmentally-conscious” packaging.
For the context of this review, I have combination skin that tends to be more on the oily side. I don’t have any allergies, and my skin isn’t particularly sensitive. I’m also very picky about the smell of skincare products. I used these products exclusively (with the exception of my Thayers toner, as no toner is included in this collection) on my face for 20 days straight to make sure I’d actually be able to see results before writing this review.
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1. Purifying Cleanser, $26.00
Key Ingredients: Cornflower floral water, glycerin, sweet almond oil, vitamin E
Specific Claims: “creamy cleanser”, “leave[s] skin feeling refreshed, hydrated and comforted”, “looks healthy and feels nourished and soothed”
This cleanser is my favorite product from the Naturally collection. It’s creamy and feels moisturizing. The packaging lets you squeeze out exactly how much product you want, which I prefer to pumps. There’s no foaming or suds when you wash your face, which I enjoyed. My only complaint is that there tended to be mascara residue left on my face after both a makeup wipe and washing my face with this cleanser. Other than that, I think the product fulfills all of the promises the online description claims. The smell of this product is also pleasantly neutral.
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2. Exfoliating Powder, $34.00
Key Ingredients: Baking soda, citric acid, hydrogenated castor oil, rice starch
Specific Claims: “gently exfoliates skin and leaves it looking healthy without feeling over scrubbed”
This product was easily my least favorite item I tried. My main problem is that you have to mix the paste yourself, as the product itself is literally just the powder. The instructions on the packaging say to pour out a “quarter-size amount” into your palm to mix with water and/or the Nourishing Face Oil to create a paste. Do I look like a chemist? I’m living in a dorm room — I need my skincare to be quick and not messy. The first time I tried to use the powder, it got everywhere. The next time I used it went smoother, but it’s still an annoying process to me.
I also didn’t see any visible improvements or changes after using this product. I definitely didn’t feel “over scrubbed”, so that claim is true! I used it every other night for two weeks, and I can’t honestly say that I saw any benefits based solely on this powder. On a positive note, I don’t hate the smell.
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3. Nourishing Oil, $48.00
Key Ingredients: Olive oil, sesame oil, squalane, sweet almond oil, vitamin E
Specific Claims: “quick-absorbing”, “leaves skin feeling hydrated and looking revitalized”
Pro-tip: Don’t use a face oil in the morning, especially if you have even remotely oily skin. I made that mistake on the second day of my trial and I looked GREASY all morning before it finally fully absorbed.
That being said, the oil itself is very moisturizing and feels really nice on my skin. When I used it at the end of my day and it had all night to absorb, I woke up with really nice looking skin. I found it mixed well with the moisturizer as well. I also really like the scent of this one!
I do think this product works well, but goodness gracious it is not worth the (nearly) $50 price tag. If you’re in the market for a similar facial oil, get the Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum or the Burt’s Bees Complete Nourishment Facial Oil for $20-$30 cheaper.
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4. Moisturizing Stick, $28.00
Key Ingredients: Beeswax, candelilla wax, carnauba wax
Specific Claims: “immediate relief from dryness”, “skin feels nourished, soothed, and softer after use”
Collegiettes, this moisturizer smells like straight-up Vaseline and not in a good way. And because it’s the last step of the skincare routine, the smell lingers. Maybe I’m being dramatic because I hate the smell of Vaseline, but it’s a pretty strong smell for a product that doesn’t have any actual perfume-y ingredients. Blame it on the beeswax, I guess. Also — no SPF is a major bummer for me.
Other than the smell, the product works. It’s not the world’s most hydrating moisturizer, but that’s perfect for me as an oily gal. It’s juuust enough hydration. As it’s wax-based and in a stick form, it’s not very creamy and doesn’t feel like lotion. For my skin type, this product works well because it gives me just enough hydration without leaving me feeling greasy. The packaging also makes it convenient for being on-the-go.
Overall, these products work! My skin feels soft, and I haven’t had any major breakouts or pimples. The natural ingredients and focus on sensitive skin are also pretty appealing to me because I wasn’t worried about any weird allergic reactions. The packaging is cute, and the scents are pleasantly neutral. I can honestly say that I enjoyed using these products and saw results over the course of a few weeks.
However, I don’t think I’ll be purchasing any of these items for myself once I run out of what I have right now. I’m in college — I have no business buying expensive skincare when there are other, cheaper products on the market that work just as well. Additionally, if I were to splurge, I wouldn’t buy from Mary Kay for ethical reasons. I think I’ll actually miss using the cleanser because it’s silky and hydrating as heck. But my bank account and morals say thanks!