Sephora Play! March 2017

Another Sephora Play! is here.  The theme this month is, “The Gleam Team,” and for those of you playing along at home, I got box variant #451.  The bag this month is back to the old usual white cotton, but it does have a pale green ribbon and reads, “Glow Your Own Way,” (thanks for the earworm).

  • GlamGlow Glowstarter – 1.7 oz / $49 – (Product is .24 oz, value of $6.92 by volume)  I received the, “Nude Glow,” color.  I’m.. not impressed.  It’s way too glittery for an all-over moisturizer like it’s supposed to be, and it makes my skin look sparkly, and I’m not down with the whole wanna-be-Twilight-vampire look.  The product is also pretty heavily scented with a fruity vanilla scent which seems nice, until you realize that it’s all over your face, right by your nose, and ends up being way overpowering.  I know everyone talks big about how awesome GlamGlow is, but I’m finding the samples I’ve gotten are pretty unimpressive, especially considering the price.  Oh, and GlamGlow is owned by Estée Lauder, so they’re not cruelty free.
  • Urban Decay Vice Lipstick – .11 oz / $17 – (Product is .03 oz, value of $4.64 by volume)  In the photo, that sample is twisted up the whole way, and you can see the tube is just about the size of the perfume sample, so it’s pretty tiny and most of it is packaging.  Anyway, I received the color, “Big Bang,” which is described as a metallized bright pink sparkle.  By itself, it is a crazy glittery bright pink – something you’d expect to see on Jem and the Holograms, but not something you could actually wear to an office job unless you’re Jem’s concert promoter.  I saw someone say that is better used over another shade as a little shine booster, and I could see that being a far better use for it, so I’ll have to play around with using it over other lipsticks.  Urban Decay is cruelty free, however they’re owned by L’Oreal which isn’t cruelty free.
  • Verb Ghost Oil – 2 oz / $14 – (Product is .57 oz, value of $3.99 by volume)  HAIR OIL!  Except it’s not really oil.  The first 5 ingredients are silicones, a fragrance, then another silicone, and finally three oils and bamboo extract.  Moringa oil is ingredient number 9 out of 15.  So, sadly, WAY too many silicones for me since I don’t use silicones on my hair.  I’m going to stick with using actual oils instead – this is going straight to the trade/give-away pile.  As an up side, Verb is completely cruelty free.
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Protector – 1.7 oz / $41 – (Product is .34 oz, value of $8.20 by volume)  The color I received is, “Opal.”  I tried this out, and I swear to you it’s a direct copy of the GlamGlow product.  It looks nearly exactly the same on a quick swatch with the GlamGlow maybe being just a wee bit less sparkly.  The product has no scent though, so that’s nice, but I basically just got two highlighter cremes and I’m not a fan.  Guys, I really just don’t like highlighters and I don’t like my skin to be sparkly.  Sparkly eyeshadow?  HELL YEAH.  Sparkly, shiny cheekbones?  HARD PASS.  I guess I can keep these around and use them as eyeshadow primers maybe?  Becca was recently acquired by Estée Lauder, so we have two of basically the same sort of product from the same parent company.  Becca had been cruelty free, but their new parent company is definitely not, and it’s unclear yet if Becca will remain cruelty free or not.
  • Atelier Cologne Clémentine California Cologne – 3.3 oz / $130 – (Product is .05 oz, value of $1.97 by volume)  I thought with a name like Clémentine, it would be fruity and sweet, but instead I found the scent has a really unpleasant sharpness to it that drowns out the citrus.  I’m wondering if maybe scents that include pepper just don’t jive with my skin chemistry because every scent with pepper that I’ve tried out has just been atrocious on me.  I did get a little hint of citrus at the beginning, but that faded out pretty quickly and left behind something I had to scrub off because it was bothering me that much.  Oh well, it is still nice to try these on the off-chance that something hits big.  Oh, and Atelier Cologne is not cruelty free.
  • Josie Maran Surreal Skin Argan Finishing Balm – .5 oz / $36 – (Product is .1 oz, value of $7.20)  So, another illuminating moisturizer, but this one has a very, VERY subtle pearlescence that I actually really like.  It’s meant to be used as a moisturizer and makeup primer, so it’s not surprising that it’s primarily silicone based, but it does contain Argan oil and Shea butter.  I feel like this is something my dry skin will love, and it’ll give my skin a boost without the sparkle.  Bonus, Josie Maran is completely cruelty free.

So, overall, the value of the box comes to $32.92 which is pretty much on par with the usual box value.  The box only costs me $10.60 including tax, so the value is about three times the cost which is great.  Unfortunately, this month’s box came with three products that are essentially the same – highlighting products.  Fortunately, I really do love the Josie Maran Finishing Balm, and the brand is a big favorite of mine already since they’re cruelty free, so that’s awesome.  Other than the Josie Maran product though, the rest were a big miss.  I guess I really don’t get the whole craze with highlighters – I do really minimal makeup in terms of foundation/blush (read: generally never) so it’s just not something that’s on my radar really, plus I don’t like that shiny/shimmery/metallic look on my face.  Oh well, hopefully next month will be better!

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