Play by Sephora: June 2017

Okay folks, I know it’s been awhile, but so much has been going on this year and so much to catch you up on.  I got a new day job!  One that is more money, has better benefits, windows, less stress and an opportunity for advancement! Unfortunately, I’m still finishing out my old one with hardcore deadlines and crazy business that all happens at the end of September/beginning of October.  Soon, I’ll be free and that will give me more time to get you all caught up on cool stuff like a Kbeauty haul, a mystery game sub box, house renovations, and so much more.  I do post lots of sneak peeks on my Instagram, so you can see what’s in my sub boxes in real time.

I’ve also been promoting my debut novel, The Ice Maiden’s Tale.  I’ve gotten some really fabulous blog reviews and just had an awesome interview with Julie Whitley on her blog.  If you’ve read the book or just love fairy tale stories, I’d love to chat with you.

So now I’m just going to dive into the enormous backlog of boxes and go with my June Play by Sephora subscription.
June’s theme was “Summer Starters” (which is totally appropriate since it’s like 80 degrees today in NYC) – “Whether you’re sweating in the city or cooling by the pool, kick off your season of sunshine with these warm weather must-haves.”

Benefit CosmeticsThe POREfessional Face Prime
(Full Size: $31.00)
Description: “Silky, lightweight face primer minimizes pores and smooth s skin for a flawless soft-focus finish.”
Verdict: Anti-climactic
I lost count long ago of how many times I’ve gotten this as a sample.  It’s a nice product, but I’ve tried it a ton of times already.

First Aid BeautyHello FAB Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer
(1.7 oz: $28.00)
Description: “Ultra-hydrating priming moisturizer features electrolyte-packed coconut water plus micro-pearls for a subtle dewy glow.
Verdict: Love!
I love the First Aid beauty brand so I’m always up for trying a new product from them.

Ouai Rose Hair & Body Oil
(Full Size: $32.00)
Description: “Quick-absorbing blend of nutrient-rich oils from around the world replenishes hair and skin plus adds moisture and illuminates.”
Verdict: Hit!
Ouai is a brand that I’ve gotten in boxes before and I’ve really enjoyed their products.  I’m going to use this to try to tame some of my frizz.  Hopefully it will work!

Kat Von DEverlasting Liquid Lipstick in K-Dub
(Full Size: $20.00)
Description: “Long-lasting, high-pigment liquid lipstick with a creamy formula glides on smoothly like gloss but leaves a matte finish.”
Verdict: Like
If this had been another shade it would have been a love.  I adore Kat Von D’s eyeliner and I own and use some of her eyeshadows.  I’m not sure if I can pull off this bright fuchsia shade, but I’m happy to get a chance to test out the formula.

IGK Rich Kid Coconut Oil Gel
(5 oz: $29.00)
Description:”Lightweight coconut oil—infused hair styling gel softens and hydrates hair for effortless undone looks.”
Verdict: Hope you’re not allergic to coconut
This is the second coconut product in this bag and I’m thinking maybe having two products with similar ingredients in the same month might not be the best idea. In any case, I like getting new hair products because I have no idea how to style my hair and can use all the help I can get.  We’ll see if this helps me look less like I just rolled out of bed and stuck my finger in an electrical socket.

This Month’s Perfume Pick:
Yves Saint Laurent – Black Opium
(1.6 oz $91.00)
Description: “A modern and intoxicating scent with rich notes of coffee, sweet vanilla, and delicate white flowers.”
(Sorry I’m missing a pic, but for some reason the ones I took were all blurry.)
Verdict: Perfect if I want to knock out myself and take an elevator full of people with me.
I appreciate it when a perfume gives itself a name that makes it obvious it will simply kill people who are sensitive to scents (remember Dior’s “Poison”?).  You hear the words “Black Opium” and you know what you’re getting.  It smells like a migraine, the kind where you lock yourself in a dark room for days, put ice on your head, and hope not to puke on your sheets. Sniff at your own risk.

OVERALL
Verdict:
Hit!
Despite the boring POREfessional primer and the death by perfume, I really enjoyed this box.  It had a lot of great brands that and gave me a chance to try out some new offerings.  The only real fault I found was it having two coconut products, but that shouldn’t be a problem for most folks.

If you’re looking to try out some high end beauty but don’t want to commit to the high price tags, consider the Sephora sub. For only $10 a month, you get a good amount of product and a nice variety.

How do you feel about the “coconut oil” beauty trend?
Is it a great natural inclusion or has it become an over-used beauty buzzword?

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.

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June Blog Hop: Beach & Pool Bag Essentials

So May has flown by and it’s suddenly June 1st, which means it’s time again for a blog hop. I’m part of a fabulous facebook group of beauty bloggers and each month (on the 1st) we all post about the same theme. For June we’re focusing on Beach/Pool Bag Essentials.

Now as I’ve mentioned in some other posts, I’m a Ginger so I prepare for days in the sun like I’m going to war. I’m going to give you my  picks  and we’ll get ready for battle.

Now first, let’s start with the bag itself. I adore tote bags and have way too many of them and they tend to be the go to style for beach bags. But this time I decided to think outside the tote. The open top design tends to make it that much easier for sand to collect and for stuff to fall out or blow away. Instead, how about a duffle design like this fabulous Baggu Bag:

Baggu Duffle
Baggu® Sailor Stripe Duffel Bag (Retail: $82.00; Picture from Birchbox.com)
I love the nautical vibe on this and the duffle design makes it great for all kinds of uses, from the beach to the gym to a weekend travel bag. I know it’s pricey, but it’s on Birchbox so you can hoard your Birchbox points and apply them to bring the price down.

Now we need to fill this bag up.

towel
If you picked up the Popsugar Special Edition Resort box you’ll have received this great Cuyana Turkish Towel (Estimated Retail: $55.00). It’s the classiest and comfiest beach towel I’ve ever received.

Now a makeup bag or pouch is a must have. I’m giving you a sneak peak at an item I just received from the May Jennifer Love Hewitt box (which I’ll be posting a review of soon). It’s absolutely perfect for the beach.
Mesh Bag
Mesh-Bottom Clutch (Retail: $30.00)
Description: “Shake clutch is designed to keep your items in and the sand far away. The bags feature a reversible flap pinned to either side, allowing you to reveal or conceal the netting at will. When sand begins to intrude, just flip the flap and shake, shake, shake.”
wallet

Trade in your normal wallet for something small that you can tuck into your clutch. I have this Key-Per Zip Coin from Fossil (Retail: $30.00; picture from Fossil.com) in the whale print. It’s big enough for your ID, a credit/debit card, and money.

SUNCARE PICKS

Comb
One of the areas that we tend to forget about sun-proofing is our hair. RickyCare SUN Grooming Comb (Retail: $2.99; picture from rickysnyc.com) is a great inexpensive way to help keep our hair healthy throughout the summer.

Description: “Rickycare’s SUN comb line eliminates color fading and dried out summer texture by planting sunscreen and nutritional oils directly into your hair.This baked-in substance is gradually released from the plastic to coat hair, helping it to reflect harsh sunlight and harmful UV rays. Keep your hair looking great all summer long by simply combing with the SUN line before stepping out on the beach or by the poolside.”

As I mentioned earlier, sun protection is serious business for me so I use a variety of products to make touch-ups throughout the day that much easier. First thing to remember is that you need to apply your sunblock 30 minutes before you go outside. Then reapply frequently.

Josie Maran
Now for my face I like to use Josie Maran’s Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 (Retail: $32.00;picture from Sephora.com). Some face products with sunblock can sting or dry out your skin and this does a great job of keeping my skin safe from the sun but looking and feeling healthy.

Mineral Sunblock
For easy touchups, I like Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral Powder SPF 45 (Retail: $40.00; picture from Sephora.com). This mineral sunblock helps keep away shine and is super easy to reapply.

Dior
For the lips, Dior Addict Lip Glow (Retail:$32.00;picture from Sephora.com) is a sheer balm that adjusts color based on the wearer. It has an spf 10 and does a wonderful job of hydrating the lips.

Now for the body, I use two products, both from Neutrogena.

Sunscreen 100 spf
Before I leave the house I slather on Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen in 100 SPF (Retail: $10.39; picture from drugstore.com). They have other options in SPF so if you aren’t an albino like me, you can opt for a different level.

Sunscreen spray
I find there is nothing more annoying that trying to touch up your sunblock while on the sand. You inevitably get sand stuck all over you. So to combat that I use Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Body Mist Sunblock, SPF 70, 5 Ounce (Retail: $9.99; picture from drugstore.com).  You don’t have to rub it in so you’re not rubbing sand on yourself and the cooling mist is refreshing.

Okay so now that we’ve gotten through the boring SPF stuff, let’s get on to the fun things like a little makeup and fashion.

MAKEUP PICKS

I find it’s best to go minimalist with makeup for the beach and pool. I just go with a mascara and a lip product.

Mascara
The best waterproof mascara I’ve found is CoverGirl LashBlast Waterproof Mascara in Brown (Retail: $5.29; picture from Target.com) Unless you have black or really dark brown hair, I suggest brown mascara for beach days. It looks more natural and goes better with a sun-kissed glow.

Now we already have the Dior lip product above but if I’m lounging around by the pool I like to add just a little touch of sparkle. I find it really gives you that golden summer glow. I adore Yves Saint Laurent Gloss Volupté in Gold (Retail: $32.00 ;picture from Sephora).
Gold Gloss
I can count the amount of lip products I’ve finished using on one hand and this is one of them. If you wear it alone, it just makes your natural lip color vibrant and sparkling. If you wear it layered over another color it gives it a golden sheen. If you pick this up, I guarantee you’ll be using it all the time. It’s a splurge, but absolutely worth it.

FASHION PICKS

Sunglasses are both fashionable and suncare, but I put them here because I find them more fun than discussing SPF. My favorite pair of sunglasses are these Hepcat Shades from Madewell (Retail: $55.00). I own these in mint and despite my huge supply of shades from subscription boxes, these are the ones I grab the most. I’m partial to the Tropical Color color.
sunglasses
Because of my aversion to sun, I’ve built up a collection of sunhats. They are a great way to look chic and protect your skin at the same time. This Mariner Floppy Hat from Anthropologie (Retail: 32.00; picture from Anthropologie.com) gives a laidback nautical vibe and gives oodles of sun protection.
Hat

I always throw a scarf in my beachbag, so if I want I can drape it over my shoulders or even turn it into a sarong. I am obsessed with this Sea Ranch Scarf from Anthropologie (Retail: $38.00 ;picture from Anthropologie.com.
scarf

So of course we need a swimsuit and one pieces are making a huge comeback. The trick to not looking frumpy is to go with a retro silhouette. They look fun and flirty and they give great coverage if you are on the more modest side. Modcloth is my go to place for swimsuits and they have an amazing selection of fun summer fashion in a huge assortment of sizes.

I own Bathing Beauty One-Piece Swimsuit in Cherry Pie (Retail: $89.99; picture from Modcloth.com) and adore it. I love gingham and the shape on this is so flattering.
Swimsuit

For a coverup, I love the flowy feel of a maxi dress and it gives me the bonus of not having to worry about reapplying sunblock to my legs every five minutes.   This Summer Night Stroll Dress from Modcloth (Retail: $44.99; picture from Modcloth.com) is perfect for being casual at the beach or heading out to a café right after.
Maxi Dress

And of course no beach look would be complete with a sandal. I love these Moxxie sandals by Pink and Pepper at Piperlime (Retail: $49.00 ;picture from piperlime.com). They’re fun and versatile and the taupe shade will go with everything in your wardrobe.
sandals 2
ENTERTAINMENT PICKS

So you need some tunes for ipod and a book for kindle.

CD Cover
Joe Purdy’s Julie Blue always makes me think of water and waves. It’s perfect for sitting by the beach. (Retail: $8.99;picture from Amazon.com)

Novel
For me, romance novels are a requirement for beach and summer reading. One of my favorite ever is Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux (Retail: $7.99; picture from Amazon.com). It’s got time travel and intriguing characters and everyone I know who’s read it, adores it. If you enjoy the romance genre and have never read this, it’s a must.

Don’t forget to throw in some of the hair ties and water bottles you’ve gotten from all those subscription boxes. Now you’re ready to go!

So what are the must haves in your beach bag?

If you enjoyed this post, please stop by and visit some of my other blog-hoppers and read their take on beach and pool bag must haves.

BLOG LINK LIST:

Michelle at Pretty in the East

Sammi at College Beauty Buff

Anna at The Anna Belle Blog 

Brittany at Lipstick and Yarn

Michelle at Beautiful Goodies

Karen at Unpack the Box