Sephora Play! April 2018

April’s Sephora Play! arrived this past week, and it was box variant #351.  I’m WILDLY underwhelmed.  I got a ton of anti-wrinkle products that the product sheet says were selected for my skin concern, but nowhere at all on Sephora’s website – not in the Play! Profile or in my regular Sephora Profile – do I ever list wrinkles as a skin concern.  In fact, I rather love my little wrinkles.  They’re badges of honor for all the times I’ve smiled and laughed, squinted and raised an eyebrow.  I don’t find trying to stop the inevitable march of time a worthy effort when I can actually do something about dry skin and acne.  It’s just silly to me.  Anyway, so yeah, this box was basically a total miss for me because I DO NOT CARE ABOUT WRINKLES.  Way off base, Sephora.  The theme this month was, “Insta Beauty” which was all about getting a perfect selfie, but again, if you know me, I’m not going to all perfect up my face when I take a selfie in my beekeeping suit.  I am who I am, and FWIW, sparkly lip gloss looks terrible on camera, so.  I don’t even.  *sigh*  But hey, at least the bag isn’t culturally insensitive this month?

  • Dr Dennis Gross Wrinkle Recovery Peel – 16 treatments / $88 – (Product is 2 packets, value of $11 by volume)  A wrinkle product I don’t need, not to mention how it contains AHA and increases sun sensitivity while we’re working our way into Spring and Summer.  This would’ve been way better in Fall or Winter, but nevermind that because I don’t even want this.  I don’t want to ‘recover’ wrinkles that are just going to come back anyway – again, I’d rather work on my dry skin and acne than worry about things you can’t stop.
  • Kiehl’s Line-Reducing Concentrate – 1.7 oz / $62 – (Product is .17 oz, value of $6.20 by volume)  Another ‘wrinkle reducing’ creme that contains ingredients that make your skin more sun sensitive.  Poor timing, and another poor choice for my profile.  Straight to the give-away box with this too.
  • Burberry Blush Eau de Parfum – 1.6 oz / $90 – (Product is .06 oz, value of $3.38 by volume)  Oh gosh, this is hideous.  I sprayed a little on the card and it’s just a mess of florals including my least favorite, Jasmine.  Straight to the give-away box you go!
  • Buxom Full-On Lip Polish – 4.44 mL / $20 – (Product is 1.5 mL, value of $6.76 by volume)  The color I received is Celeste which is described as a prismatic soft peach.  I have to tell you that I’ve never bought a Buxom lip product because I get SO many of them as samples, and I find the tingle a little off-putting.  This is no different.
  • Philosophy Purity Made Simple Moisturizer – 4.7 oz / $25 – (Product is .25 oz, value of $1.33 by volume)  It’s a pretty basic moisturizer, though the first two ingredients are water and silicone, so, I’m not all that impressed right off the bat.  For a moisturizer, I’d expect to see an actual moisturizing ingredient in there, but silicone is kind of an inert filler, not a moisturizer.  Philosophy is also not cruelty free, so while this is basically the one product in the box I’d consider using, I’d never repurchase it since their parent company, Coty, engages in animal testing (they sell in China).
  • Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Perfector Skin Tint – 30 mL / $36 – (Product is 5 mL, value of  $6 by volume)  The color I received is #6, Warm Sand, and it’s WAY off base for my skin tone.  I fall somewhere between a light and fair, and this has some wild yellow tone to it that shows up as fake-spray-tan orange on my face.  Another huge miss, not to mention that the company isn’t cruelty free anyway.

Overall the value of the box comes to $34.58 which is about average.  The cost is only $10.60 including tax and shipping for me, but my personal value here is basically zero.  This box is pretty much a huge waste and I feel like I got a box intended for someone else since NONE of it matched my beauty profile.  Hugely disappointed this month, Sephora.

Sephora Play! March 2018

Another Sephora Play! has arrived, and it’s a little on the late side this month.  The theme is, “Festival of Beauty,” but again, a pretty nebulous theme that doesn’t actually make sense for any of the products in the box.  This is box variant #364 and it arrived yesterday, March 21, 2018.  I saw the spoilers and wasn’t too pleased with what was going to show up, but again, for $10, I guess I don’t have a lot of room to complain, but!  Then I saw the bag.  Sephora, you’re better than this.  There’s a great article here that goes into the detail on the use of the term, “Spirit Animal,” and it’s really awful that Sephora chose to use it on the bag this month.  It’s a shame, because I love the bag fabric, color, and ribbon, but the use of a culturally insensitive term like that really ruins it for me.  They could’ve easily said, “Beauty is my life,” or, “Beauty is my passion” instead of using a term that’s garnered some controversy.  Anyway, rant aside, on to the contents.

  • Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner – .016 oz / $22 – (Product is .008 oz, value of $11 by volume)  I know I have a sample of this that I’m already using, but it must be from a gift-with-purchase or something.  I could’ve sworn it came in another Sephora Play! box, but I guess not since I didn’t find it in the blog archives (I missed posting a few months, so maybe it was in one of those?).  Anyway!  Waterproof black eyeliner from a cruelty free company?  Yeah I can use that!
  • IGK Mistress Hydrating Hair Balm – 5 oz / $29 – (Product is .5 oz, value of $2.90 by volume)  Well, sure, it’s paraben and sulfate free, but unfortunately the third and fourth ingredients are silicones, so it’s a hard pass for me.  If you’re using products without parabens and sulfates, then you’re not able to wash out the silicones in this product that build up on your hair, so it’s silly to be all “we’re good for curls!” when you’re not.  It’s also incredibly heavily perfumed and smells just awful to me.  I’ll stick to my natural hair products, thank you very much!
  • Supergoop Setting Mist – 3.4 oz / $28 – (Product is .5 oz, value of $4.11 by volume)  It’s got an SPF 50 rating, but it’s heavily alcohol based which is bad for dry skin, and it has peppermint and spearmint oil, so that pretty much makes it a nope for me (mints tend to irritate my skin, and they just smell awful to me – why would you want a face product to smell like toothpaste?!).  This goes traight to the trade/give-away pile.
  • Bobbi Brown Extra Illuminating Moisture Balm – 1 oz / $68 – (Product is .17 oz, value of $11.56 by volume)  It’s basically a moisturizer with a very, VERY subtle pearlescence.  It’s okay – nothing really amazing, definitely not $68 for an ounce amazing, plus it’s not cruelty free, so this wouldn’t end up in my skincare routine on the regular.
  • Korres Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser – 5.07 oz / $26 – (Product is .68 oz, value of $3.49 by volume)  I haven’t yet tried this, but I love Korres products already.  Even though they started selling in mainland China, it’s only via internet sales, so they maintain their cruelty free status.  The cleanser smells light and fresh, and I love having these smaller sizes for travel.
  • Amika Soulfood Hair Mask – 2 oz / $12 – (Product is .7 oz, value of $4.20 by volume)  This is another product I haven’t tried yet since it’s going to be a single use foil packet tube.  Unfortunately, a quick glance at the ingredients means I won’t be trying this either since it contains silicones that don’t wash out without a shampoo containing SLS/ALS which I don’t use, so they just build up over time, and that’s no good.  It also contains Isopropyl alcohol (ie. Rubbing Alcohol) which is a heavy NO for dry and curly hair (SERIOUSLY?!).  I’d never EVER put rubbing alcohol on my hair and expect it to be nourished, so I can’t even believe it shows up in the ingredients here.  Hard pass.

The total value of this box comes to $37.26 which is pretty great for a cost of $10.60 per month including tax and shipping.  Unfortunately this box is mostly a miss for me since they included products that they thought were suited to my curly hair profile, but aren’t actually suitable for curly hair at all.  Super disappointing.  I will keep and use the eye liner, cleanser, and moisturizer which still make up for the cost of the box, but I’m bummed about the two hair products being absolute misses as well as the controversy over the bag.  Honestly, I’d be happy to go without the silly bag if we can get a full-sized product each month.  We’ll see what next month brings!

Sephora Play! February 2018

I thought I’d get back to posting the only other makeup subscription I still receive, Sephora Play!  This is box #144 for February 2018.  The bag is a plain cotton bag with a little cartoon face on it and, “Feel The Love,” printed all in red with a pink drawstring ribbon.  I just don’t like these cartoon designs and would rather see something with just a fun font or design I guess?  I mean, it works for February and Valentine’s Day and all, but it’s not really my style.  Anyway, on to the contents!

  • Farmacy Green Clean – 3.2 oz / $34 – (Product is .4 oz, value of $4.25 by volume)  It’s a pretty solid product, more like a solid perfume, and it’s meant to help remove makeup and clean your skin, so you give your face a good rub down with the stuff and then rinse it off.  The scent is lightly “green”(fresh and grassy sort of?), but not at all overwhelming.  I haven’t tried it yet, but I do love oil-based makeup removers.  Bonus, Farmacy is cruelty free.
  • Belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb – 25 mL / $48 – (Product is 5 mL, value of $9.60 by volume)  I don’t really use a lot of eye creams since my eyes tend to be a little sensitive, and, let’s face it, I tend to just use one product for my whole face instead of separate creams/serums for different areas.  Lazy lady is lazy.  The formula is mostly silicone based with a bunch of natural ingredients including comfrey and pennywort.  I tried it out and it doesn’t seem to bother my eyes, plus, the company is cruelty free!
  • Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color – 1.64 g / $29 – (Product is 1g, value of $17.68 by volume)  The color is “Rose Gold” which is a warm pinky gold color.  It goes on velvety smooth and blends easily, and it’s an easy to use color that goes well with my skin tone.  It’s also almost full size which is nice to see!  The company is owned by Shiseido, so while Laura Mercier claims to not engage in animal testing, their parent company does.
  • Chloe Eau de Parfum – 4.2 oz / $180 – (Product is .04 oz, value of $1.71 by volume)  I generally don’t like these crazy expensive perfumes, but this one really isn’t that bad!  It’s a musky rose sort of scent and the musky notes come out more on my skin which I rather like.  The floral side of it is much more subtle and this is a sample I’ll actually use up!  This company is not cruelty free.
  • Sephora Rouge Matte Lipstick – .10 oz / $12.50 – (Product is .035 oz, value of $4.38 by volume)  The color I received is “Rebel Chic” which is a deep raspberry red color.  This is exactly the sort of shade I like to wear, so I’m super pleased the random color choice was perfect!  The formula goes on like a creamy matte lipstick without feeling drying.  Unfortunately, this was on sale and is sold out on the website, so I think my chances of getting a full size one are slim.  Bummer.  Sephora is not a cruelty free brand either.
  • Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment – .15 oz / $24 – (Product is .07 oz, value of $11.20 by volume)  I received the color “Rose” which is a sheer rose pink color, but I find that there’s very little to no color payoff with this.  It’s also got SPF 15 so that’s great for the wind up to spring/summer, and this is a product I’ve used before, so it’s nothing new, but I don’t mind seeing it again.  Fresh is not cruelty free despite saying they are – they sell in mainland China, so while they don’t do the testing themselves, their products are tested on animals before being available for sale in China.  It’s wording trickery since the company doesn’t exactly test on animals, but they choose to sell in a market that requires it, so they’re complicit in the continuation of this barbaric practice.  /soapbox

So, anyway!  The value of this box comes to $48.82 which is pretty phenomenal when you consider that the cost is only $10.60 including tax and shipping!  I’ll use everything in this box for sure, but the big winner for me was the lipstick.  Looking forward to see what next month brings!

Sephora Play! August 2017

August’s Sephora Play! arrived and it’s not at all nearly as good as the last one.  The theme for August was, “The Innovators,” which again, not a lot of innovation here.  Most of those products have been around for a while and are nothing new (UGGH DRY SHAMPOO)  I think the only thing I’m keeping and using out of this whole box is the perfume which is a bit of a surprise, but none of the products really fit me at all.

  • Too Faced Mascara Melt Off Cleansing Oil – .23 oz / $17 – (Product is .04 oz, value of value of $2.96 by volume)  I received this in the August 2016 Glossybox, so yeah, this is no new or innovative product.  I gave it away back then and I’m giving it away now too since it can barely be called an oil anyway.  A real oil doesn’t come in till the 6th and 9th ingredients with petroleum-based ingredients ranking higher.  Not interested.  I can use plain olive oil to remove mascara and it doesn’t contain garbage chemicals that could irritate my eyes.  The company is cruelty free, but they’re owned by Estée Lauder who is not cruelty free.
  • Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer Creme – .22 oz / $26 – (Product is .065 oz, value of $7.68 by volume)  The color I received is “Light #11” which is too light and too yellow for my complexion.  I didn’t find that it concealed well, and it caked/creased into my wrinkles.  I also have pretty dry skin and I’ve heard that this line isn’t the best for people with dry skin.  I’ll have to give it a try as an eyeshadow base because otherwise, it’s a garbage toss for me.  Kat Von D’s entire line is completely cruelty free.
  • Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream – 8.1 oz / $45 – (Product is .81 oz, value of $4.50 by volume)  I’m always skeptical about products that claim they can firm or tighten or minimize any part of your body because they’re generally scientifically unproven malarkey.  The scent on the cream is nice – it smells like a sugar cookie – but a little overwhelming and super heavily scented, and it works well as a moisturizer, but I’d never pay $45 for a tube of moisturizer that will never actually do anything to firm your tush.  The company is cruelty free though, so that’s nice!
  • Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo – 1.8 oz / $12 – (Product is travel size)  NO DRY SHAMPOOS.  I know I have my profile marked to curly and dry hair, so this is an absolute waste to send to someone with that profile.  Dry shampoo works by absorbing oil since they’re generally starch/alcohol based, but if your scalp doesn’t produce oil, dry shampoos turn your hair to chalky white straw.  Not to mention that they need to be tousled or brushed in and you NEVER EVER EVER BRUSH CURLY HAIR (unless you want to ruin your curls and walk around with a lion’s mane, then by all means…).  Hard pass on this one.
  • Beauty Blender Micro Mini – 2 pieces / $18 – (One piece, value of $9)  Meh?  I have a full-sized one that I got from another box at one point, but I never use that either since I rarely to never use foundation or concealer (except on pimples, and my finger tips work just fine for that).  I have a feeling I’m going to try and find a use for this, and it’ll eventually end up in the never-used-beauty-products-graveyard.
  • Kat Von D Saint & Sinner perfume – 50 mL / $65 – (Two samples, 1.5 mL each, value of $3.90 by volume)  There are two little samples here, one of each scent, Saint and Sinner.  It’s a neat idea to have both a floral and a warm/spicy version of a scent so that you hit both sides of the perfume coin.  Saint is heavily jasmine based, so that one was pretty much out right off the bat since I find jasmine (and most florals) pretty awful.  Sinner though, is primarily patchouli, wood, and cinnamon which is definitely something I’d wear!

The overall value of the box comes to $40.04 which is about average for this box that costs me $10.60 including tax.  Unfortunately this one was a huge miss and I didn’t even hit break even on the value of the items I’ll keep and use (the bum bum cream and half the perfume).  Sephora, it would be really great if you’d just pay attention to profiles and stop sending dry shampoo to us curly girls.