Play by Sephora: July 2017

We’re continuing the push through my backlog of reviews with my July Play by Sephora subscription.  I do post lots of sneak peeks on my Instagram, so follow me there if you want to see the boxes before I post my review.

July’s theme was “Beauty Staycation” – which is actually sort of where I’m at right now since my break before my new job starts.  Of course, the “beauty” part is more about my house than me, but it still works.
Now to the box!

Bobbi BrownEye Opening Mascara
(Full Size: $30.00)
Description: “Long-wearing mascara visibly thickness, curls, and lifts lashes with a carbon-black formula.”
Verdict: Anti-climactic
So many black mascaras, so little time.  I didn’t find anything extraordinary about this mascara although I did like the brush, which was on the larger side. Still, there’s nothing about this mascara that would be worth $30.  I also don’t think it fits in a “beauty staycation”.  That implies different treatments and pampering, and mascara is not in that category.

Fresh Rose Face Mask
(1 oz: $25.00)
Description: “Hydrating and toning gel mask refreshes tired, dull skin with a calming infusion of pure rosewater and rose petals.
Verdict: Love!
I’ve always liked the Fresh brand and a rose mask sounds perfect for a “beauty staycation”.  I’m excited to try this one out once I’m not covered in paint.

Briogeo Rosarco Milk™ Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray
(Full Size: $20.00)
Description: “Ultra-light leave-in conditioning spray delivers non-greasy moisture without weighing down hair.”
Verdict: Like
I’ve tried Briogeo products before and haven’t been blown away, but haven’t disliked them either.  My hair is a wreck thanks to the hard water we have at the new house, so I’m happy to try any hair treatment that might help.

Tarte Color Splash Lipstick – Rainforest of the Sea™ in “Set Sail”
(Full Size: $21.00)
Description: “Long-lasting yet moisture-rich lipstick softens and smooths lips while providing full-coverage color.”
Verdict: Love!
They describe this shade as a “dark nude” and it is lovely.  It’s a great every day color for when you want to look put together, but not like you’re wearing too much makeup.  The consistency did seem a little softer than most lipsticks, which is a bit of a problem with this small tube, but I’m sure it’s not an issue with the normal size.

CaudalieVine[Activ] Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum
(1 oz: $52.00)
Description:”Highly concentrated pollution protection serum reveals a youthful glow while helping to visibly smooth fine lines.”
Verdict: Like
Caudalie is a great brand and since it costs $52 for an ounce, I’m happy to be able to try it out.  I also like that you can use it under your makeup.

This Month’s Perfume Pick:
CLEAN Reserve Sueded Oud
(3.4 oz $95.00)
Description: “This creamy and sophisticated scent puts a new twist on a traditional heavy oud fragrance with its light, fresh notes.
Verdict: Not for me
Definitely appreciate the idea of a lighter fresher floral, but this is still too strong for me.

Verdict: Hit!
I loved the lipstick and the rose mask, and except for the perfume,(which I always write off anyway) I’ll use everything in this box.  I loved the theme of a “beauty staycation” but I felt like they didn’t really embrace it. Rather than lipstick and mascara which are more for going out, I think we should have seen more treatments and masks.  Still, for only $10.69, I think this was a great box.  If you’re looking for a budget friendly beauty box, Sephora is at the top of my list.

Have you ever had a “beauty staycation”?
What did you do?

Each month Play by Sephora, will send you 5 deluxe samples handpicked from their shelves (plus a fragrance bonus) – all in a collectible bag.
Cost: $10 per month (plus any applicable tax)
Bonus:  Each month you’ll get an included card that you can bring to Sephora for an extra 50 bonus points for any Purchase.  These points are part of Sephora’s VIB program and can be traded in for an assortment of samples.



Popsugar: September Must Have Box + November & Neiman Marcus LE Box Spoilers & a Winter LE Box!

I’m back from  celebrating my birthday and trying not to get overwhelmed by the tasks required when buying a new home (as well as trying to figure out a great name for my new home renovation/DIY/Decorating blog feature.  Prepare yourself for something cheesy!). In any case, it’s time to get back to reviews with my September Popsugar Must Have box, but first I’ve also got lots of fun spoilers and news about the latest Popsugar box offerings.


Alexis Bittar Gold Studded Lace Cuff
Box Description: “We’ve created the ultimate box just in time for the holidays. Co-curated by Lisa Sugar and Neiman Marcus Fashion Director Ken Downing, they’ve chosen the perfect mix of luxe surprises ready to gift to loved ones or to yourself — you deserve it!”
Boxes will ship by Dec. 5 via FedEx Smartpost.
Price: $250.00
It’s certainly a pretty bracelet, but this box is way too much for my current budget.


There is also a pre-sale for subscribers for the Popsugar LE Winter Box.  It should open up to everyone soon.
Box Description: This holiday season calls for entertainment, celebration, and coziness. Prep yourself as either the gift giver or recipient of these wondrous Winter surprises, certain to bring a smile to anyone’s face.”
Boxes will ship by Dec. 5 via FedEx SmartPost.
Price: $100.00
We haven’t hit the full launch of this yet so there aren’t any spoilers.  Popsugar’s Winter/Holiday boxes have typically been my faves out of all their Limited Editions.  I’d say if this one comes out with a spoiler you like, it would be worth the risk.

november-spoiler-1 november-spoiler-2

I am SO excited for this box.  I adore the Kendra Scott jewelry and have been begging for more rose gold in our sub boxes.  The Stowaway palette is really lovely as well.  This box is already a win for me.

Now onto the main event:

hat-2 hat-1
JACK & LUCY Bicoastal Wide Brim Hat
(Suggested Retail: $58)
Description: “Nothing says super chic quite like a wide-brimmed hat and oversize sunglasses.  Pair this headwear with your favorite Fall outfit for an effortlessly chic look that screams ‘model off duty.’.”
Verdict: Like
It’s probably going to take more than a wide brim hat for me to scream “model off duty”. This is a return of the Popsugar brand Jack and Lucy, (the one behind the hideous faux pom keychain from the Fall LE Box that was priced at a oh so reasonable $41).  I generally like hats, because I feel like they are underappreciated plus I enjoy building a random hat collection.  This brand doesn’t really seem to exist outside Popsugar which bothers me for a high end box, but not necessarily for a cheaper monthly sub.

NCLA Mani-ER Tool Kit

(Suggested Retail: $16.00)
Description: ”With this handy tool kit, you’re equipped with everything you need for a chic manicure all in a portable purse-ready pack – so when you’re transitioning into the hustle and bustle of Fall, one thing you’ll never need to worry about is your nails!.”
This is a cute practical little kit and NCLA is a great brand, but I have so many nail products and kits that this is going to the gift pile.

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask

(Suggested Retail: $36.00)
Description: ”Your hair puts up with a lot – treat it to a spa day with this restorative mask, which will reduce breakage and restore natural vibrancy on even the most overprocessed locks!  IT works in minutes, and our newly hydrated and lustrous hair will appreciate the refresh.”
Verdict: Hit!
This isn’t my favorite hair mask, but it’s a good one and something that I definitely will use.

Flint Lint Roller
(Suggested Retail: $9.99)
Description: “This sleek platinum link roller will never let you down, conveniently sized for fitting in your purse and refillable so that you never have to risk unsightly mess.  Flint can keep up with your day and look as good as you do!”
Verdict: Love!
My regular lint roller is this obnoxious cheap thing that is like old masking tape stuck to plastic.  This is so much nicer. I already have travel lint wipes from my Fall Rachel Zoe Box of Style so this will go toward replacing my every day roller.

smith-cult applicator swatch
Smith & Cult Lip Lacquer in The Warning
(Suggested Retail: $22.00)
Description: “Pair your new hat with a bold red lip – the gold microshimmer in this lippie adds a cheeky touch to an otherwise elegant beauty bag staple.  The ingredients in this paraben- and gluten-free formulat help extend the weark, whether it’s worn over a lipstick or by itself.”
Verdict: Love!
Smith & Cult is one of my favorite brands. I just adore their packaging and they have the prettiest shades.  This is a really wearable red that is going to be a staple in my makeup bag this winter.

The Gluten Free Bites – Dark Chocolate Coconut Bites

(Suggested Retail: $4.99)
Description: “These vegan, gluten-free bites are made without GMOs or dairy, so you can indulge your chocolate raving without feeling guilty.  Stick tem in your purse for a sweet high-protein treat on the go!”
Verdict: Hit!
Gluten free treats can be well, less than a treat, but these were delicious.  My boyfriend, who is in charge of snacks, really liked them too.  I’d gladly buy these if I saw them out in the wild.

I thought this box was full of practical items and I’ll use nearly everything included.  I really loved the Smith & Cult lip lacquer which accounted for more than half of the $42.75 I paid for this box.  The retail value based on the listed card, came out to $146.98.  The real negative here was the Jack & Lucy hat.  I don’t mind it, but I can see how it wouldn’t be a great pick for many subscribers.  It’s also a Popsugar exclusive type brand so it doesn’t have the cache that comes with a more luxe brand, nor can we be sure of the retail value.  But for me personally, the box was a win.

What did you think of the hat?
Do you wear hats?
Would you wear this one?

Popsugar is a women’s lifestyle subscription that delivers a monthly box of fun, full-size products hand-selected by Popsugar editors.

In addition to Popsugar’s monthly must have boxes, they have some seasonal special edition boxes that contain uber luxe items.  The price tag on these boxes is higher, but the products you receive are high end.

Popsugar Mini Pricing:
(Features 2 Full Size Items)
Monthly – $18.95

Popsugar Must Have Pricing:
Monthly – $39.95
3 Months – $109.85
6 Months – $214.70
12 Months – $404.40

Coupon Codes:  REFER5 = $5 off site wide
POPSUGAR10 = $10 off a 3 month subscription to Must Have

Play by Sephora: May 2016

It’s been pretty insane over here at Subscription Therapy, as I’ve been going through the hell, er, the process of trying to buy a new home, so of course I’m behind on reviews.  But I’ve got tons of boxes and pictures and fun things for you, so stick with me and I promise you’ll find something fun.

Today, in particular, I’ve got something extra special.  A bargain beauty sub to upset Birchbox as the standard: Play by Sephora.  That’s right, Sephora has a sub box!  Sephora rolled this out in stages, so a lot of us had to languish endlessly on the waiting list until we could finally try it out.  But in May, FINALLY, I was able to snag one for myself, so prepare yourself for a new box in the rotation.

Sephora sends 5 deluxe samples, plus a fragrance bonus, and packages it all in a little collectible bag for just $10 a month (plus tax).  They also include a bonus card that you can bring to any Sephora location.  The expiration is the end of month and it will give you 50 bonus points on any purchase you make.  If you’re a regular Sephora shopper, you know that this is part of their VIB beauty program, where you accumulate points from your purchases and can trade those in for featured deluxe samples. The only trick with this box is to get yourself on the waitlist and keep trying if you don’t immediately get signed up.  Sephora will periodically send you an email if you’re on the waiting list – but sometimes they won’t, so just keep checking back to their site to see if any spots open up.

Now let’s see what my very first Play by Sephora Box!

A cute well packed box with Sephora’s signature striped packaging:
Box Open Box
Bag Booklet
May’s theme was “The Forces of Nature” – Earth to Beauty.  Sephora described it as follows: “This month, discover products that are high performing and good for you, too.  Take your beauty back to its roots with hardworking formulas like a brightening facial treatment for petal-soft skin, an antioxidant-rich lipstick made with organic ingredients, and more products that prove that looking beautiful is only natural.”

Perfume Packet 2Perfume Packet 1Perfume
Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine
(1 oz: $70.00)
Description: “A refreshing burst of sweet blood orange and bitter orange peel paired with notes of geranium.
Did you know: “Orange Sanguine is part of Atelier Cologne’s Collection Originale, which is made using high concentrations of essential oils to create fresh citrus scents.”
Verdict: Love!
This is one of my favorite perfumes ever and it came in such adorable packaging.  I love citrus scents and the Atelier line is wonderful and magically doesn’t trigger any of my allergies.  I’m adding this sample to my travel stash, so I can bring this along during my next trip.

BITE BITE swatch
Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche in Kimchi
(Full Size: $26.00)
Description: “Handcrafted, high-pigment lipstick delivers intense hydration using twelve edible oils.
Did you know: “Bite Beauty creates all its lipstick suing food-grade ingredients that are antioxidant-rich and made in small batches
Verdict: Like
I’ve got some Bite Beauty lipsticks that I made in their lab, so I’m familiar with the brand.  This product feels great going on, but the pink is definitely on the bright side.  I do like it though, and it definitely gets me out of my comfort zone. It has a fun, almost 80s type vibe that I think fits summer really well, so I’ll be a bit brave and give it a shot during my next girls night out.

Origins Maskimizer + Drink Up & Clear Improvement Masks

(Maskimizer: 3.2 oz $22.00; Drink Up: 3.4 oz $26.00; Clear Improvement: 3.4 oz $26.00)
Description: “Innovative priming mist optimizes skins condition, while the charcoal mask cleanses and the overnight mask deeply moisturizes.”
Did you know: “In partnership with the American Forests’ Global ReLeaf project, Origins has planted over 500,000 trees around the the globe.”
Verdict: Hit!
I love trying out masks, and Origins charcoal mask is one of my old favorites.  I’ll use this little set on my next home spa day.

Tarte 1TarteTarte Swatch
Tarte Tarteist Lip Crayon in Latergram
(Full Size $18.00)
Description: “Prime and line this lip crayon that nurtures with vitamin E and antioxidants.”
Did you know: “The mineral pigments in tarte’s products are made by crushing actual earth minerals into fine powders and contain no synthetic counterparts, so they’re perfect for sensitive skin.”
Verdict: Miss
This color is a bit dark for me, but the miss is mostly for the texture.  This was oddly crumbly and hard to apply.  It just didn’t feel good on my skin and I think I managed to break the entire sample just trying to swatch it.  Sorry Tarte, this one wasn’t a winner.

KORRES Wild Rose Sleeping Facial
(1.35 oz: $48.00)
Description: “Lightweight overnight facial treatment melts into skin to brighten and moisturize with wild rose oil.”
Did you know: “Based in Athens, Korres works with local farmers to produce botanicals and other natural ingredients that are unique to Greece’s climate.”
Verdict: Hit!
I love sleeping masks, and Korres is a great brand that offers natural products.  This cream wasn’t too heavy and absorbed into skin very easily.

Conditioning Mask
BRIOGEO Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask
(8 oz Size: $36.00)
Description: “Intensely hydrating hair treatment made with naturally drevied ingredients to restore and replenish.”
Did you know: “Briogeo’s founder was inspired to start a cosmetics company by her grandmother who harvested raw ingredients from her own farm to make hair care products..”
Verdict: Hit!
I love deep conditioners that you apply in the shower and rinse off. Once a week, I like to use a clarifying shampoo and then follow up with a deep conditioner – sort of like a mini spa day for my hair.  I’m glad to have this new one to try out.

Sephora Play May 2016

Verdict: Love!
With tax, I paid $10.70 for this box and I think it had a wonderful variety of products and really great sizes for samples.  The natural beauty theme was a great fit for the season, as we leave Spring and head toward summer.  I also appreciated the detail included on the card.  It included: descriptions of the products, info about the ingredients, fun facts about the brand, and helpful hints on how to use the products.  It was very thoughtfully put together and I felt like I actually learned quite a bit from reading it.  The extra bonus card for additional points is a nice tough as is the cute little bag included.  At only $10 a box, it’s a great way to get a chance to try some spendy products without spending too much.

Have you been one of the lucky folks to nab a Sephora subscription?
If so, what did you think of the box?
If not, are you considering signing up?

Each month Play by Sephora, will send you 5 deluxe samples handpicked from their shelves (plus a fragrance bonus) – all in a collectible bag.
Cost: $10 per month (plus any applicable tax)
Bonus:  Each month you’ll get an included card that you can bring to Sephora for an extra 50 bonus points for any Purchase.  These points are part of Sephora’s VIB program and can be traded in for an assortment of samples.

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