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.

Sephora Play! July 2017

I know, I know, it’s almost September, and here I am still posting about boxes from mid July.  Life is just getting the better of me at the moment and there’s too much real life stuff going on to be as involved with the blog as I have been in the past.  It’s mostly good real life stuff, but it keeps me much busier these days!  So, anyway, July’s box was kind of a make it or break it box for me with Sephora since there were a few in a row that were pretty much meh, didn’t fit my profile, and FFS if I get another highlighter or dry shampoo… ahem.  Surprisingly though, this one was actually a nice box!  The theme was, “Beauty Staycation,” so I expected more treatments and masks out of that theme, but got a lip product and mascara, so, that says more vacation than staycation to me, but the themes are seldom ever actually a theme when it comes to the products anyway.

  • Boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding – 2.8 oz / $38 – (Product is .84 oz, value of $11.40 by volume)  This makes sense for the theme, and hey, a mask?  Yes please!  It’s essentially a clay and charcoal based product which makes sense, and while I haven’t tried it yet, I am loving the ingredient list.  Sadly, Boscia isn’t cruelty free, so this isn’t a product I’d consider repurchasing.
  • Bare Minerals Gen Nude Matte Liquid Lip Color – 4 mL / $19 – (Product is 2 mL, value of $9.50 by volume)  The color is, “Swag,” which is described as a blushing mauve.  The formula goes on creamy and smells like chocolate.  I’m not entirely sold on the color which looks a little like a dull chalky pink and is just a bit too pale for my already pale complexion.  It is a nice formula though, just a miss on the color.  Bare Minerals is cruelty free, but their parent company, Shiseido, is not.
  • Briogeo Rosarco Milk – 5 oz / $20 – (Product is .75 oz, value of $3 by volume)  This is already a tried and true favorite for my curly hair and I use it all the time to give a little life back to my 2nd or even 3rd day curls.  My hair is crazy dry, so every little bit of moisture and every drop of oil in this product helps keep my hair from looking like straw.  Bonus, Briogeo is completely cruelty free.
  • Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine Cologne – 3.3 oz / $130 – (Product is .05 oz, value of $1.97 by volume)  This is surprisingly nice!  Probably not $130 nice, but it’s a really bright, fruity orange scented cologne.  Sadly, Atelier Cologne isn’t cruelty free, and at that price I wouldn’t be buying the full size anyway, but I’m definitely going to use up this sample.
  • Milk Makeup Cooling Water – 1.2 oz / $24 – (Product is .1 oz, value of $2 by volume)  I’m really not sure what to do with this.  I get that it’s meant to de-puff under eyes and cool your skin, but it’s one of those superfluous beauty items that I’ve been living without and really have no need for anyway.  I do love Milk Makeup already since they’re cruelty free and awesome, and the product is interesting and I’ll use it, but it’s not a new necessity.
  • IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara – .3 oz / $24 – (product is approx .1 oz, value of $8)  I think what I like best about this is the wand!  It’s the best of those plastic spiky wands and a regular brush type wand all in one so it keeps clumping down and separates lashes well at the same time.  The product applies evenly and neatly, and I rather like this!  The company is cruelty free, but they’re owned by L’Oreal who is not cruelty free.

Overall the value of the box comes to $35.87 which is about average for this box that costs me $10.60 including tax.  I think the big winner was the Briogeo Rosarco Milk since I go through that stuff like water, so extra samples are always welcome.  Everything else is fun to try, but there are no big, new, stand-out products that wowed me enough to say, yeah, I’d buy that again.  I will definitely be trying the mask and will use up the cologne and mascara, but they’re not knocking out my favorites by any stretch.  August’s box already arrived too, so that’ll be up soon (I hope)!