Play by Sephora: February 2017

I’ve been hella busy with the house, the upcoming release of “The Ice Maiden’s Tale” and the blog redesign, so as expected I’m a wee bit behind on my boxes.  Today we’re heading back to February for my Play by Sephora review.  This is one of the best budget beauty boxes at the $10 price point, so if you don’t have a ton of cash, but want to try out a beauty sub, check this one out.

If you want to see my box reveals as soon as I get them, follow me on Instagram for real time spoilers.

February’s theme was “The Soft Side” – Make a Radiant Understatement “Muted, mellow shade shades and skin-perfecting formulas are a never-fail way to show off your natural beauty.  From a romantic lip color to a radiance-boosting eye cream, add definition and just a hint of dram with this month’s subtle-yet-stunning lineup of makeup and skincare.”


CLINIQUE Pep-Start HydroBlur Moisturizer

(Full Size: $29.50)
Description: “A lightweight, oil-free moisturizer-meets-primer instantly blurs imperfections while providing all-day hydration for a silky, soft-focus finish.”
Verdict: Like
I love trying out different primers and one that is light and moisturizing sounds particularly appealing.


Too Faced Lip Injection Glossy in Milkshake
(Full Size: $22.00)
Description: “Sheer tinted gloss uses a botanical-infused formula to visibly plump lips instantly while also hydrating and softening over time.
Verdict: Like
I’ve been looking for some nude lip products and I like that this one is hydrating.  This would look great paired with a smoky eye.


Rainforest of the Sea™ Quench Lip Rescue in Nude

(Full Size: $19.00)
Description: “Sheer ultra-moisturizing lip balm delivers vitamin-rich hydration and nurtures dry lips while providing a soft natural tint.”
Verdict: On the fence
This product is definitely moisturizing, but the color is very light and it doesn’t have much staying power.  It also got very soft, pretty quickly and it didn’t go anywhere with a lot of heat.  I’m thinking this product isn’t something to leave in your summer bag.


SEPHORA COLLECTION LashCraft Length & Volume Mascara
(Full Size: $12.00)
Description: “A jet-black volumizing mascara with an innovative flat paddle-shaped wand to lengthen and lift lashes.”
Verdict: Okay
I’m always on the lookout for awesome mascara, but this one is pretty ordinary.  Not bad, not amazing, but perfectly adequate.


Origins GinZing™ Refreshing Eye Cream

(Full Size: $30.00)
Description: “A luminous eye cream infuse with coffee beans, ginseng, and magnolia extract ot visibly brighten and depuff the undereye area.”
Verdict: Love!
Eye creams are one of my fave items to get in sub boxes.   I use them regularly and they typically cost quite a bit so sampling them in advance is super helpful.  This one was really light and suitable to wear even in the morning.

This Month’s Perfume Pick:

Prada Candy (1.7 oz $90.00)
Description: “A confident, daring, and seductive fragrance, this feminine scent features caramel, benzoin, and notes of white musk.”
Verdict: Confident = way too strong
As usual this doesn’t work for me.  I’m just going to pass it on to someone else who might enjoy it.

OVERALL

Verdict:
A bit uneven
This box had a lot of practical items that fit the “low key” “basics” vibe, but the curation felt a bit off.  There were two moisturizers and two nude lip products included.  I would have liked to see a hair product and maybe a nude shadow or a natural blush.  Overall, the box was still a great value since I paid $10.70 and I’ll use nearly all of the items.  The Too Faced gloss was a great size and easily covered a chunk of the box cost.

I’ve got so many more box reviews coming up including some really unique subscriptions, so be sure to check back.

What types of products do you want to see in beauty boxes?

THE BACKSTORY
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: January 2017

I was looking down my handy dandy spreadsheet of “to do” reviews and realized I am woefully behind on my Play by Sephora subscription.  So for Throwback Thursday we’ve got my January 2017 review.  At only $10 a month, this box is a great bargain and sends a fun assortment of beauty items under a monthly theme.

January’s theme was “Beauty, Set, Go” – Stellar Products are only the Beginning.  Sephora described this as “It’s time for a fresh start: this January, detox and refuel your beauty routine with a section of super-effective, ultra-hydrating skincare, makeup, and hair care.  We’re beginning 2017 with an innovative on-the-go cleanser stick, game-changing moisturizers, and more essentials that will keep you motivated all year long.”


Tarte – FRXXXTION Stick Exfoliating Cleanser

(Full Size: $22.00)
Description: “Exfoliating gel cleanser in a unique twist-up stick format transforms from a solid gel to a cleansing lather that gently sloughs away impurities.
Verdict: Does this come in wrapped in plain brown paper?
This is such a unique product and I don’t think I’ve ever tried a stick cleanser that is exfoliating and lathers.  I’m intrigued and excited to try it out.  However, I do have a PSA – Dear Beauty Companies – stop it with the goddamn stupid names!  We just want to be able to easily google products and recommend them to our friends.  Something called “FRXXXTION Stick” does not strike up images of cleansers, nor is it something you want to recommend to the lady on the bus after she compliments your glowing skin.


Youth To The People – Age Prevention Superfood Cream
(Full Size: $48.00)
Description: “Whipped, lightweight cream restores and rejuvenates skin and deliver antioxidants with potent plant extracts.
Verdict: Like they took every hipster word they could find and put in lotion form
I love vegan and natural beauty products, but you know, enough with the goddamn Kale already.  They call this “a green smoothie for your face”.  I am firmly in the vegetables-don’t-belong-in-cold-beverages camp so this is not a selling point for me. I’m sure I’ll try this out, but I’m going to be a bit grumpy about it.


Ouai – Treatment Masque

(8 – .3 oz treatments: $32.00)
Description: “Restorative mask helps to care for damaged hair and leaves strands feeling smooth and touchably soft.”
Verdict: Hit!
My hair is getting to be ridiculously long (like Sister Wife long) and I’m putting off a haircut as long as possible to save money for my house.  This means hair masks are my savior right now.  I really need to break down and cut my hair already, but the masks help me delay the inevitable for just a tad longer.


Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey

(Full Size: $17.00)
Description: “Sheer lip color with a glossy finish in the bestselling, cult-classic Black Honey shade.”
Verdict: Hit!
This is a cult-classic and if you’re into beauty at all you’ve probably heard of it.  I didn’t swatch this because I want to save it for after I’ve used up a few more of my products. This is a great shade for days when you want a natural look.  While the product looks dark, it goes on sheer and is very wearable.


AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50+

(Full Size: $60.00)
Description: “Cushion format CC cream hydrates, protects skin, and delivers buildable weightless coverage in two blendable shades.”
Verdict: Hit!
I love that this CC cream has a pink/cool undertone option. It’s amazing how many BB/CC creams and foundations don’t.  I’m always looking for the perfect CC cream with SPF, so this is exactly the type of product I like to try out for myself. $60 is steep so I’d be leery to buy it without a sample first.

This Month’s Perfume Pick:

Tory Burch Love Relentlessy (1.7 oz $86.00)
Description: “Unabashedly feminine and tender, this delicate scent feature notes of pink pepper, orris, and patchouli.”
Verdict: Friends don’t let friends wear patchouli
You know me and perfumes don’t typically work out and Patchoui is a death knell.  If you love it and can pull it off, kudos to you, but most people end up smelling like a dirty hippie.

OVERALL

Verdict:
Hit!
I thought this box hit the January detox/new year theme very well.  It featured a lot of very practical items and the black honey lipstick was a great size that could easily be worth a couple dollars on its own. With tax, I paid $10.70 for this box and I’ll use nearly everything. If you want to try out pricier makeup and don’t know where to start, I highly recommend trying out a Sephora Play subscription.  For $10, you’ll get a chance to try out some expensive brands and products and be able to decide if they are worth the splurge.

I’ve got so many more box reviews coming up including a fun, snarky women’s box and a free goodie box so be sure to come back.

If you want a sneak peek of the full boxes, just follow me on Instagram.

THE BACKSTORY
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: December 2016

Another day, another box review I’ve been hoarding.
Today is my budget friendly pick: Play by Sephora.  At only $10 a month, they send a fun assortment of beauty items under a monthly theme.

December’s theme was “The Partygoer” – Meet Your Night Out Necessities.  Sephora described this as “Small soirées, company festivities, all-out holiday bashes: no matter how you’re celebrating, this is the selection for the party season.  We’re wrapping up 2016 with inky-black mascara, a show-stopping red lip shade, and more must-haves for getting ready for fun—and looking fresh all night long.”
open-box open-box-2
This month’s bag is my favorite.  I’m definitely keeping this one to re-use.

lancome
Lancôme HYPNÔSE DRAMA Instant Full Body Volume Mascara
(Full Size: $27.50)
Description: “Volumizing mascara coats lashes from root to tip for full-drama, flake-free lashes in a single stroke.
Verdict: A mixed bag
Lancome is a great brand and a super dark volume mascara is a great pick for a party look, but this formula has a couple issues.  First, it smells really strong of perfume.  I have tried a lot of mascaras in my time and none smelled this strong.  I don’t quite understand it.  Why would you want something that strongly scented right by your eyes?  Second, I felt like it did get a bit clumpy and gave my lashes that spider leg look.  It wasn’t extreme, but it was enough that I wouldn’t purchase this product on my own.  On the bright side, it stays on well and is a very saturated black.

sephora-lip sephora-lip-2
SEPHORA COLLECTION – Cream Lip Stain in Always Red
(Full Size: $14.00)
Description: “Decadent yet lightweight stain moisturizes while saturating lips with a bold, nonstop shade of crimson red.
Verdict: Like
A bold red is almost a requirement for a Holiday makeup box.  I didn’t swatch this as I’m saving my new makeup for after my move, but the shade does seem to lean a touch warm.  I’ll have to wait and see if it works with my skin tone, but it’s size and bold hue make it perfect to slip into your tiny party bag.

setting-spray
Urban Decay – All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

(1 oz: $15.00)
Description: “Weightless setting spray prevents makeup from fading, smudging, and settling into fine lines for a touch-up free finish.”
Verdict: Perfect Pick!
A makeup setting spray is a perfect pick for this box, and Urban Decay’s version is the gold standard in makeup.  You spritz it on to keep your makeup in place for the long haul.  I already own this product, but didn’t mind getting another.  This is the perfect size to throw into a travel kit.

   mufe
MAKE UP FOR EVER Step 1 Skin Equalizer Smoothing Primer
(Full Size: $37.00)
Description: “This silky primer helps makeup las longer while the targeted formula balances skin’s texture, resulting in a smoother more even look.”
Verdict: Love!
I love MUFE primers and haven’t yet had a chance to try the “smoothing” one, so I was super excited to find this in my box.  Primer’s can really make a huge difference in how your makeup goes on and how long it lasts.  I’m interested to see how this one differs from the other MUFE ones I’ve tried.

bay-breeze
Drybar Bay Breeze Hydrating Shots
(Set of 4: $38.00)
Description: “Salon-quality, single-dose treatments quench dry hair and scalp, then wash away for shiny, silky-soft hair.”
Verdict: Like
I have a dry scalp so a hydrating treatment sounds promising.  $38 for 4 shots is more spendy than my budget allows, so it’s nice to be able to try out something I wouldn’t otherwise.

This Month’s Perfume Pick:
perfume
Elizabeth and James – Nirvana Bourbon (1.7 oz $85.00)
Description: “An intoxicating bend of vanilla bourbon and spice wood with a delicate floral note.”
Verdict: As usual, No.
For me the description “intoxicating” on a perfume means “go take an aspirin immediately”.  As usual, this is too strong for me.  I’ll pass it on to a friend.

OVERALL
sephora-play-december-2016
Verdict:
Hit!
I thought this box hit the Holiday party theme perfectly and featured a lot of great brands.  With tax, I paid $10.70 for this box and I’ll use nearly everything in it. If you want to try out pricier makeup and don’t really know where to start, I highly recommend trying out a Sephora Play subscription.  For $10, you’ll get a chance to try out some expensive brands and products and be able to decide if they are worth your hard-earned Benjamins.

I’ve got so many more box reviews coming so be sure to come back.  And if you want a sneak peek of the full boxes, just follow me on Instagram.

What beauty product is your must have for a glamorous night out?

THE BACKSTORY
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.