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.



Play by Sephora: August 2016

I was so, so close to finishing up my August reviews, and then..bam….I caught like the plague or something and I finally find a house I both love and can afford.  So in between the stacks of paperwork and endless phone calls, I’ve been trying not to hack up a lung, all the while missing my retail therapy and fun chats with all of you.    But today I’m hopped up on DayQuil and back to talk about one of my favorite budget subs: Play by Sephora.  This box is Birchbox’s direct competition in the $10 beauty box slot.
August’s theme was “The Eye Openers” – If Looks Could Thrill.  Sephora described this as “There’s more than meets the eye with this month’s selection of skincare and makeup.  After a long summer, refresh and recharge your beauty routine with the mascara for standout lashes, an energizing moisturizer, and striking looks that will put all eyes on you.”

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in I-544
(Full Size: $21.00)
Description: “Highly saturated, iridescent pink granite eyeshadow made with a unique gel-powder formula and ultrafine pigments for smooth color.
Verdict: Love!
Make Up Forever (MUFE) is one of my go to brands. Their eyeshadows are amazing and go on so smoothly.  I love this color.  It’s such a pretty neutral and gives this kind of candlelit look.  I own it already in a MUFE palette I purchased back in Spring.  I use this shade a ton already and I can’t recommend this brand enough.  Click here for my review of their Artist Palette Volume 3 which includes this pink granite shade.

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara
(Full Size: $20.00)
Description: “Lengthening and volumizing mascara coats eyelashes with triple-black pigment and a buildable, creamy formula.
Verdict: Like!
Mascara isn’t exciting, but it’s the product I probably use up the fastest.  Urban Decay is a great brand and I’m pretty sure I’ve used this before.  I think I liked it, but didn’t quite love it so I’m happy to try it again and see how it works.

Lancome Energie De Vie Smoothing & Glowing Liquid Care Moisturizer
(1.69 oz: $55.00)
Description: “Concentrated energizing liquid lotion visually relieves dullness, diminishes signs of fatigue, and promotes a healthy-looking glow.”
Verdict: Like
There are a lot of words in the name of this product.  They all sound good and it never hurts to throw some French in there for good measure.  This product appears to be similar to the Korean equivalent of an “essence” which I find intriguing.  This should be fun to experiment with.

Caudalie Resveratrol Eye lifting Balm
(.5 oz: $62.00)
Description: “Innovative eye cream visibly lifts and smooths the eye area with a breakthrough patented formula while reducing the look of dark circles and puffiness.”
Verdict: Love!
You probably know by now that I am always a sucker for eye creams in box.  Eye creams tend to be super spendy, and to me they are an integral part of a beauty regimen.  If you do nothing else but get yourself a good anti-aging eye cream and apply it religiously you will do wonders for your skin.  This cream feels lovely going on and moisturizes without being heavy.  I’m really enjoying trying this out.

eyeliner liner-swatch
Sephora Colelction Contour Eye Pencil 12hr Wear
Waterproof in Flirting Game
(Full Size: $10.00)
Description: “Creamy-easy-to-apply pencil with long-lasting, 12 hour waterproof formula in a shimmery taupe shade that was handpicked for you.”
Verdict: Like
This pencil definitely had staying power.  This shade pairs really nicely with the shadow they included and I feel like this gives a nice subtle shimmer.

This Month’s Perfume Pick:
Clean Reserve Blonde Rose (3.4 oz $90.00)
Description: “Classic yet edgy bouquet of rose, jasmine, and peony above a sandalwood base evokes feminine sophistication and allure.”
Verdict: Evokes headaches
As usual, this scent doesn’t work for me, but I really don’t expect most perfumes to.  This is an extra item so it doesn’t really impact my appreciation of the box.

With tax, I paid $10.70 for this box and except for the perfume extra I will use everything in it.  Eye products tend to be where I use a wide variety of brands and items so I really love that I got to try a few new things.  I do think the products and colors in here would work for a wide variety of women so kudos to Sephora on an excellent curation.

Do you use a lot of eye products?
Which ones do you consider your holy grail items?

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.

Birchbox: June 2015

My bout with the plague (otherwise known as an upper respiratory infection) has really taken a toll on my blogging and so I find myself with lots of boxes and products to tell you about. I’ve still got a few June boxes left amidst all the new July hoopla so I’m going to start this week with my June Birchbox.

Adventure was the theme of the June box, so let’s dive in and see what “adventurous” products are included.
Open Box 1 Open Box 2

Caudalie Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Fluid SPF 15

(Full Size: $49.00)
Description: This ultra light weight moisturizer preps skin for makeup, minimizes pores, and blocks UV rays.”
Verdict: Miss/Gift
Caudalie is a great brand, but no way is SPF 15 enough for me. I’ll have to pass this along to someone who isn’t a soulless ginger.

CLEAN Fresh Laundry

(Full Size 2.14 oz: $69.00)
Description: Citrus, floral and wood notes make this fragrance as crisp as your just-folded linens..”
Verdict: Miss/Gift
Perfume is typically a miss for me as many scents can give me headaches. This one was a bit strong for my taste, but I can definitely see the appeal of it so I’ll  pass it along to someone else who’ll appreciate it.

Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear™ Micro Water

(Full Size: $32.00)
Description: ”Made with active hydrogen mineral water, this cleansing water removes makeup and brightens skin.
Verdict: Love!
I chose this sample for my box because cleansing water has been such a huge trend and I wanted to see what the hype was about. I honestly didn’t expect much but this is a really refreshing cleanser that does a great job of removing makeup while still being gentle on the skin. I think this would be a perfect cleanser to throw in your weekender for a summer getaway.

Shampoo & Cond.
Klorane Shampoo with Mango Butter

(Full Size 13.4 oz: $20.00)
Description: Made with rich mango butter, this creamy formula nourishes, smooths and hydrates parched strands.”
Klorane Shampoo with Mango Butter
(Full Size 5.07 oz: $16.00)
Verdict: Like
I know, I know, I usually complain about getting tons of shampoo and conditioner from Birchbox and I’m always talking about my hatred of foil packets, but since Nina Garcia blew my entire haircare budget on fancy hair masks, I need to get some basics wherever I can. In this case the foil packet is just an extra and since it’s for the conditioner, I can just use the excess shampoo with one of my oh so numerous conditioning treatments and masks. I like Klorane and fruity scented things so this one is a win for me.

Marcelle Waterproof Eyeliner

(Full Size: $11.00)
Description: ”This blendable waterproof eyeliner goes on smoothly and stays put all day.
Verdict: Like/Gift
I love blue liners, but I currently have a plethora of them so I’m going to pass this along to a friend. It’s still a nice item to receive and a great size for a sample box.


Hair Tie
Erickson Grab & Go Pony Tube

(Full Size: $18.00)
Description: ”We’ve added in this ponytail holder from L. Erickson for a chic pop of color.
Verdict: Hit!
This is a bonus item and I’m really happy with it. I have long hair and am constantly looking for hair ties to use around the house. The ubiquitous elastic ribbon style we get in so many sub boxes stretches out in no time at all, so I’m hoping this type will be more durable.

Full Box

Okay you caught me, I’m giving this a “like” just because it had no Supergoop. But really, although a lot of the items weren’t a fit for me, I think they made sense in the overall box and were good picks for summer. I’ll use the shampoo and ponytail holder and I really enjoyed trying out the Dermaclear.   My box cost me $10.70, and I received $6.00 worth of Birchbox credits after my reviews, bringing the total down to $4.70. I think that’s a fair price for the samples I’ll use.

Have you tried any “cleansing water” yet? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!


Birchbox subscriptions cost $10 per month or $110 per year (Women’s Sub)
$20 per month or $195 per year (Men’s Sub)

Points System:
Whenever you buy something at Birchbox they give you Birchbox points. $1.00 = 1 Birchbox Point.
Each 100 Birchbox reward points can be redeemed for $10.00.
You can also earn points by reviewing the samples they send you (10 points per sample) and referring/subscribing friends.

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