February’s Sephora Play! just arrived today. The theme this month was, “The Softer Side,” featuring items that are, as they said, low-key lovely. The bag is a dusty rose satin bag that has, “Smitten,” printed at the bottom. Another unique bag, and while I don’t quite know what to do with these, it’s neat to see everything packed in a bag like this, and see a different bag every month.
- Sephora LashCraft – 5 mL / $7 – (Product is 2.8 mL, value of $3.92 by volume) This is about half the size of the travel size, but it would’ve been nice to get the full travel size since it’s a Sephora brand product. You can see from the photo it’s just about the same height as the perfume sample, so this is teeny tiny, definitely meant to only be good for a matter of a few uses to try it out. I get that Sephora Play! is essentially a sample bag, but it would be nice if the Sephora brand products were a little bigger than a mini sized sample. Anyway, the wand on this is flat on one side and it’s touted that the formula doesn’t require any chemical makeup removers (which is fine since I don’t use chemical removers, only natural oils to remove mascara, even the waterproof kind, so, moot point for me). The ingredient list starts off with water, iron oxide, and olive oil esters which is pretty decent. I found that it did clump up a little – the brush came out heavily saturated with product, so the problem may just be that the trial container doesn’t prepare the brush correctly as it comes out of the tube. One coat was plenty, and I didn’t find this to be buildable. A second coat just got sticky and thick and looked awful – one coat is plenty. The brush though, I do like! You start with the flat side to coat the length of your lashes and roll the brush to the rounded side as you run the brush over your lashes. Mixed feelings on this! It’s okay, but it’s not cruelty free (Sephora brand sells in China), and I’m not really wowed by it. I do like the innovation with the brush, but it’s not enough as a whole to knock out my top three at the moment.
- Too Faced Lip Injection (Glossy) – .14 oz / $22 – (Product is .03 oz, value of $4.71 by volume) I received the color, “Milkshake,” which is a nude color with gold shimmer. The color payoff isn’t a lot, but it’s enough to make your lips look a little milky white. Here’s where I admit that I can’t pull off the whole nude lips thing and it makes me look like a corpse. So, beyond the color, within a few minutes of putting it on, my lips started to tingle. Then they started to burn. Quick check on the ingredient list shows, “Capsicum Frutescens Fruit Extract,” and, “Capsicum Frutescens Resin,” in about the middle of the list, so yes, I just inadvertently put hot pepper resin on my lips. After a few more minutes, my lips had turned bright red, and the burn was so intense that I had to wipe it off, so unfortunately, this is going straight into the trash since there’s no way I could tolerate having this on my lips for more than a minute. What a terrible product – it left my lips so irritated that they were bright red for over an hour later. It’s pretty clear that it’s just WAY too much capsicum in the formulation, so I’m not sure how this could be released like this. I’m not a weenie when it comes to spicy food either, this is just incredibly too much.
- Bite Beauty Multistick – .17 oz / $24 – (Product is .07 oz, value of $9.88) The color I received is, “Cashew,” listed as a rose taupe. Again, nude lips aren’t my thing, but this is meant to be able to do everything from lips to cheeks and eyes, so even if it isn’t flattering on my lips, I can use it as an eye color. It’s also the wrong color for blush for me, so I’m thinking it’s going to end up just being used for an eyeshadow, but it does look great on me as an eye shadow. As a lip product, the formula is matte but still creamy and smooth. As an eye color, it blends out easily. I’m not sure any of the colors in this line really speak to me (I’m best with berry colors and there isn’t one), but the color, “Mochi,” which is a deep red, might end up coming home with me as a lip color. I LOVE Bite Beauty already, and they’re cruelty free!
- Origins GinZing Eye Cream – 15 mL / $30 – (Product is 5 mL, value of $10 by volume) The first bunch of ingredients on this are water and silicones, but there are a bunch of fruit and plant-based extracts that follow. The formula is a pearlescent light peach color, so it’s meant to be a luminizer as well. Personally, I don’t use eye creams because I feel like they don’t really ever do anything noticeable. This really didn’t do anything for me – my eyes didn’t magically feel, “energized,” nor did my dark circles magically disappear. And $30 for a full size product from a company that engages in animal testing (they’re owned by Estée Lauder and sell in China) is a hard pass for me.
- Tom Ford Neroli Portofino – 1 oz / $145 – (Product is .05 oz, value of $7.25 by volume) Probably one of the more expensive perfumes we’ve gotten! I actually like this a little – not enough to blow $145 on an ounce, but it’s nice. It’s soft and fresh, but something (the lavender maybe?) makes it smell a little soapy. I’d have loved for the citrus notes to come out more, but it comes out smelling like lavender soap on me. It’s not awful, but again, not something I’d be willing to spend $145 on.
- Clinique Hydroblur Moisturizer – .5 oz / $9.50 – (Product is .24 oz, value of $4.56 by volume) The ingredient list is pretty disappointing. It starts with water and glycerin, then polymers and silicones, and a few decent oils/butters (Shea, mango seed, squalane, beeswax). Overwhelmingly, it’s water, glycerin, and silicone based, and goes on more like a silicone based primer than a moisturizer. It goes on matte and a little ‘grabby’ (not sticky or tacky, but as if it would help makeup stick and stay better), so it would definitely work best right under makeup. This probably wouldn’t make the cut as my sole moisturizer since I have super dry skin, but it’ll work well as a primer. I’d probably not purchase this myself since again, the company is owned by Estée Lauder and engages in animal testing.
Overall, the value this month comes to $40.32 which is great and definitely on the higher end for this box! It only costs me $10.60 per month including tax, so that’s nearly four times the cost. Unfortunately, one product is a complete loss (the Too Faced Lip Injection), so it brings down the personal value to $35.61, but that’s about in line with prior boxes anyway. I may not completely like all the products, but I did get a chance to try them and will likely use the rest of them even if they’re not necessarily items I’d purchase. The stand-out product for me is the Bite Beauty Multistick and I do really love it as an eye shadow color. I’m a little disappointed by the continued inclusion of Estée Lauder products – it seems a little like Estée Lauder is sponsoring the box and I’m just not interested in the company or any of the products from their subsidiaries. Hey, Sephora, let’s see a 100% cruelty free box, huh?! Or one without an Estée Lauder brand in it?