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)!

Sephora Play! June 2017

This month’s Sephora Play! arrived last week on June 10th, but I’m running a little behind this month!  I think this is the earliest I’ve ever received a Play box and it completely surprised me since I hadn’t even received the shipping email (the email came after the box had arrived).  My box variant this month was #042 and the theme was, “Your Summer Starters.”  Again, not really much of a theme – there’s nothing with SPF or anything that really says summer to me, but these themes are always kind of nebulous and not really followed with the product selection.  The bag design is back to that awful cartoonish design that I’m just not into.

  • Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick – 6.6 mL / $20 – (Product is 3 mL, value of $9.09 by volume)  The color I received is “K-Dub” which is described as a bold fuchsia.  I absolutely love Kat Von D, but this color is completely unwearable.  Between this and that awful brown lip crayon from last month.. Sephora, are you drunk?!  They keep sending the world’s most unwearable colors!  This shows up as a neon hot pink on me, and it’s awful.  I’m not sure anyone could hear me over that lip color, it’s so loud and awful.  I tried layering other colored glosses on top, but it’s just such a bizarre shade and doesn’t play well with others.  The formula is great – velvety and smooth without being too drying –  but the color makes it a garbage toss.
  • Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium – 1.6 oz / $91 – (Product is .04 oz, value of $2.28 by volume)  The scent is described as having notes of coffee, orange blossom, cedarwood, and patchouli which is FINALLY a win for the type of scents I like.  It’s not at all floral, but musky and rich, and I really dig this.  Again, probably not enough to buy the full size since YSL tests on animals, but enough to use up the sample here in short order.
  • Ouai Rose Hair & Body Oil – 3 oz / $32 – (Product is .28 oz, value of $2.99 by volume)  Wow.  A hair oil that actually contains oils, no silicones, and a product from Ouai that isn’t incredibly over-scented!  The first ingredient is Sunflower seed oil, followed by a bunch of other oils, but there is still one troubling ingredient, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, which was shown in a study this year to potentially damage human DNA and cause genome mutations, so that kind of ruins the product for me since I don’t need a UV-B blocker in my hair products anyway, and especially not one that can potentially cause cancer.  The company is cruelty free, but apparently that doesn’t extend to using dangerous, damaging ingredients.
  • Benefit The POREfessional Face Primer – .75 oz / $31 – (Product is .1 oz, value of $4.13 by volume)  It’s a silicone based primer.  Ehh.  It’s really expensive for a silicone primer that’s like all the other silicone primers, and I’m just not into them since I don’t really use primers or foundation basically ever.  I also don’t have a problem with large pores, so this is a miss for me.  Also, the company engages in animal testing since they sell in China, so I refuse to buy anything from this company.
  • IGK Rich Kid Coconut Oil Gel – 5 oz / $27 – (Product is .5 oz, value of $2.70 by volume)  I was so excited about this at first since this is a cruelty free company and coconut hair oil gel?  Sounds like me!  Unfortunately, the product list contains a bunch of silicones and acrylates in between the excellent oils, so this is a pass since I don’t use silicones on my hair (I do a low/no shampoo routine and since silicones and acrylates build up in your hair and I don’t use products with SLS/ALS to scour them out, I can’t use silicones either).  I’m completely bummed – this product would’ve been spot on perfect without the silicones or acrylates, but, as it is, it’s a pass for me.
  • First Aid Beauty Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer – 1.7 oz / $28 – (Product is .34 oz, value of $5.60 by volume)  It’s another silicone based primer, but this one has more fruit extracts in it.  So, two primers in this box.  Yay?  This one is a little better of a match since it’s a moisturizer/primer in one, but the company changed their policy recently and are now not really cruelty free, so it’s not something I’d buy (the company refuses to certify that their ingredients aren’t tested on animals, but the end product isn’t tested on animals, so it’s a grey area).

The total value for this month came to $26.79 which is definitely the lowest value box I’ve ever received from Sephora.  I mean, the cost is only $10.60 per month including tax, so the value of the products still exceeds the cost, but personally, this box was very nearly a complete waste this month.  Another awful, unwearable lip color, TWO hair products I can’t use, TWO boring primers, and the only thing I think I’m keeping and using is the perfume.  The duplicate products are getting annoying too – it would be great if we could even things out and have a variety of products in each box instead of two primers or three highlighters in the same month.  This is also my 12th month of Sephora Play! and I have to admit that the last three boxes (this one included) have been terrible misses for what I’m interested in, and even worse misses according to my profile for this box.  Sephora, I want you to do better.  I know you can.  Otherwise, I’m going to have to call it quits.