The Sephora Play! for April has finally arrived today! It’s a little later than usual, but it seems that my box variant, #575, was in the last batch to ship. The theme for this month was, “Step it up,” so I expected something with intense colors, prestige brands, etc. That didn’t really happen here. The themes just never seem to be actual themes, just catchy slogans they trot out and then ignore when it comes to product selection. I know I keep saying it, but for $10.60/mo including tax and shipping, I suppose I shouldn’t be complaining, but if you’re going to have a theme, stick to it. The bag this month says, “The Best Things in Life Are Me,” and features a cartoonish girl in a tiara on the front with a pink ribbon. Not my favorite bag, to be honest. The design just isn’t to my tastes at all, and I think I prefer the more plain words-only designs.
- Sephora Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover – 4.2 oz / $11 – (Product is .84 oz, value of $2.20) This says it’s suitable for people with sensitive eyes, but it contains dyes and salt (sodium chloride). There’s no reason for this to contain dyes other than to make it look pretty, and salt?! Near your eyes?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THIS?! I don’t need a waterproof eye makeup remover since I don’t really use waterproof makeup, plus, I use natural oils to remove my makeup and it does a far better job with zero irritation (and only one ingredient!).
- Smashbox Photo Finish Primer – 1 oz / $36 – (Product is .25 oz, value of $9) I would honestly almost count this as a zero value item since I know I’ve received this multiple times as a free sample on Sephora.com orders. I have about five of these exact same size lying around already, and there’s nothing stepped-up about a primer that everyone’s already gotten a sample of a few times. It’s okay – it’s a basic, silicone-based primer – but it’s nothing new or special.
- Kate Somerville Exfolikate – .5 oz / $24 – (Product is .25 oz, value of $12) The third ingredient is polyethylene, so the little exfoliator bits are plastic. There is actually a ban on plastic microbeads passed in 2015 that goes into effect on July 1, 2017, and I’m not sure why Kate Somerville hasn’t gotten on board yet since these little plastic exfoliator beads are huge pollutants. I did give this a try – the exfoliation action is much more of a fine sand than a coarse scrub. It has a fresh, green and cinnamony sort of scent that isn’t overpowering. Unfortunately, the use of plastic exfoliator beads is a huge problem for me, and I’m really surprised that they haven’t bothered to change their formula since the law is due to go into effect in a few months.
- Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau de Toilette – 1.7 oz / $80 – (Product is .04 oz, value of $1.88) Stinky floral mess. I really can’t handle floral perfumes and this contains both violet and jasmine, so it’s a huge nope for me. As usual though, I enjoy getting these samples since it helps me figure out what perfumes I do and don’t like.
- Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream – 48 mL / $52 – (Product is 7.5 mL, value of $8.13) This is a perfect fit for my dry skin profile. The first bunch of ingredients are silicones, so I feel like this could double as a primer too. It dispenses as a completely unscented gel, but goes on like water, and it makes my skin feel super soft. It’s a shame this company tests on animals, or I’d be first in line to buy the full size!
- Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Waterproof Eyeliner – .04 oz / $21 – (Product is .01 oz, value of $5.25) It’s a basic black eyeliner. The formula does go on nice and velvety matte and richly pigmented, but again, it’s not what I’d call stepped-up – it’s a pretty basic sort of item. I guess the brand is maybe the stepped-up part? Unfortunately, the company tests on animals, so this isn’t something I’d buy again since there are plenty of cruelty-free eyeliners out there.
Overall, the value of the box comes to $38.46 which is pretty much average, and a great value for the cost of only $10.60 per month including tax and shipping. This is a far better box than last month’s, and I appreciate the diversity in products this time around! Unfortunately, only one product this month is from a completely cruelty free company, Marc Jacobs. Smashbox is owned by Estée Lauder, and Kate Somerville by Unilever, so even if they individually are cruelty free, their parent companies are not. It also marks yet another box with an Estée Lauder brand. I’m still waiting on that 100% cruelty free box, Sephora. With Earth Day this month, they totally had a chance too!