Sephora Play! May 2016

In case it wasn’t clear in my first post…I did not enjoy my Sephora Play! subscription and after this box I cancelled it. Out of the boxes I received, I felt like the products were not customized to my hair or skin type.

I was also kind of overwhelmed by the booklet that came with it. The booklet didn’t provide any kind of clarity for me and if I wanted advice on how to apply any of my products I would rather go online to find out.

The process to cancel the box was annoying because they force you to call them instead of allowing you to cancel it online. Luckily, the woman I spoke to on the phone was wonderful and once connected it was pretty easy to cancel.

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  • Bite Beauty – Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Kimchi – Full Size $26
    • This color was very bright which looks crazy with my pale skin. I like the formula of this lipstick but the sample size was difficult to apply.
  • Briogeo – Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask – Full Size $26
    • This product smells good and it is a weekly conditioning mask for hair. I found it to be a little too heavy for my thick hair but it made it feel soft.
  • Tarte – Tartiest Lip Crayon in Latergram – Full Size $18
    • Tarte is a brand that I was very excited to try. I think I got the worst product. The sample size was so thin and it didn’t glide at all. It literally looked like I was coloring with a crayon. Think of how spotty crayons are when you push too hard and that is exactly what this was like.
  • Korres – Wild Rose Sleeping Facial – $48
    • This is an overnight mask that is meant to brighten your skin. As a person with very sensitive skin, this made my face feel dry.
    • After two weeks of use – it’s no miracle cream. I already have soft skin and a fairly even skin tone which a lot of people have said this product is good for. This product smells likes roses – seriously it’s so strong I’m wondering where the rose garden is hiding and why my hair products can’t have a smell that lingers for so long. When you first apply the product it starts off smooth and creamy but then as you’re still applying it your fingers start to skid across your skin.
  • Atelier Cologne –Organe Sanguine – $70-$195
    • I actually liked the orange scent of this but it was so strong that it was nauseating almost immediately after opening  it.
  • Origins Maskimizer + Drink Up & Clear Improvement Masks – $22-26
    • Maskimizer – mask primer itself is $22 and it was just a wet spray. I’m not sure that it primed anything.
    • Drink up overnight mask retails for $26
    • Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask is also $26

 

Sephora Play! April 2016

I had a very short-lived Sephora Play! subscription. The BS of Sephora Play! starts with their waitlist. They sent me an email and told me I had been personally selected and only gave me a few days to decide if I wanted to sign up before my spot would be given away. Does anyone like to be coerced into something? I don’t!

When you receive a box, they send booklets with information about the products included but I never found them helpful in terms of figuring out how to use them. To be quite honest – I did not like that these boxes were not really customized or the fact that they included the Nars Satin Lip Pencil that they gave out as a birthday gift that same year! Which is why I decided to sign up for Birchbox instead!

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So here is what I received in my April box:

  • Milk Makeup – Sunshine Oil – Full Size $38
    • When I opened the little pouch this came it the product got everywhere. The product was so oily that it didn’t absorb into my skin. It left me feeling greasy and disgusting.
  • Sunday Riley – Good Genes Treatment – Full Size $105
    • Not sure what this was supposed to do but I didn’t like the way it felt on my skin. I’m in my early twenties and refused to start using anti-aging products.
  • Clinique – Pep-Start Eye Cream -Full Size $26.50
    • This product is supposed to hydrate under your eyes and make you look refreshed and awake. I’ve found the only way to get rid of puffiness under my eyes is to sleep!
  • Nars – Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien – Full Size $26
    • I didn’t like this the first time I got it and I was pissed that I got it a second time. It doesn’t have any staying power and goes on very messy. Luckily I have a family member who loves these – I’ve given her 3 from Sephora so far.
  • Sephora Collection – Colorful Cheek Ink Gel in Peony – Trio $21
    • No no no! My cheeks are ALWAYS red. The last thing I want is to slather a gel all over them and add more color. This is an example of the box not being customized to my beauty profile.
  • Derek Lam 10 Crosby – 2am Kiss – $95-175
    • I am not a fan of makeup samples in my beauty boxes and Sephora includes on with every box! This scent is way too strong and if you tried to kiss me wearing it at 2am you would probably get punched.

August 2016 Birchbox

 

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So this is my third Birchbox! I’m starting to notice a bit of overlap in the brands/products that I receive from various subscription boxes. The good news is that I don’t mind yet. I have the opportunity to try another SheaMoisture product. I’m slowly falling in love with this brand which is the entire reason I started getting subscription boxes. I wanted to be exposed to new and exciting products that I wouldn’t have bought on my own.

 

  • Avene – Cleanance Cleansing Gel for Face and Body – Full Size $20
    • I’ve never heard of a cleansing gel for your body but I have used the Neutrogena Body Clear body wash with salicylic acid to prevent acne. But I’ve found that the Neutrogena product is prone to dry out my skin if I use it too frequently. This product is meant to purify skin without irritating it. So I’m excited to give it a try.
    • I love love love this product. It gives my face that fresh clean feeling that I love without making it feel dry. It smells like normal soap and lathers really well. A little bit goes a long way and I’m definitely purchasing the full size when my sample runs out!
  • Beauty Protector – Protect & Oil – Full Size $28
    • I don’t use curling irons or flat irons on my hair so I typically do not use protecting oils. I’ve heard a lot of great things about this product and it’s made to fight against frizz and add shine rather than protect hair from hot tools. This lightweight product is supposed to protect against UV rays, add shine, and strengthen strands. I haven’t tried it yet but it sounds great.
  • Manna Kadar Cosmetics – The Day Dream Palette – Full Size $25
    • I’m not big on palettes, I tend to go the drug store and purchase eyeshadow that has directions on the back. This palette has “six universally flattering eye shadows, a blush, a bronzer, and two highlighters” and it is superpigmented. I’ll be waiting for a special occasion to try this out.
  • Marcelle – Hydra-C 24H Energizing Hydrating Gel – Full Size $26
    • I haven’t tried this yet but its supposed to be a lightweight gel moisturizer which my skin could definitely use
  • stila – Stay all Day Liquid Lipstick – Patina – Full Size Trio $20
    • As someone who sucks at makeup – this liquid lipstick is an absolute mess on me. I’d really like to try applying it with a lip brush but I prefer to apply makeup as easily as possible. I like the way that it feels on my lips but it tastes funny. As far as lipsticks in general go – I’m going to keep trying them until I find something I like.
  • SheaMoisture – Fruit Fusion Coconut Water Weightless Shampoo & Creme Rinse -$10.99 each
    • SheaMoisture is a brand that I’ve just recently discovered and I love how pure and moisturizing all of their products feel. I have used the Creme Rinse before and really enjoyed how soft it made my hair feel. I have yet to try the shampoo.

 

Ready to join me on your own Birchbox journey? Sign up here!

 

 

July 2016 Birchbox

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 7.53.01 AM.jpgWoohoo! I got a bunch of products that I really enjoyed in my first Birchbox so I was really excited to get my second one in July. Have any of you signed up for a Birchbox subscription yet? If you already did, what came in your first box?

  • Benefit They’re Real! Lengthening Mascara$24.00
    • This is the second Benefit product that I have received in a Birchbox. This mascara adds length and volume and doesn’t smudge! I hate clumpy mascara and I didn’t have that problem. I did not like the brush in the sample size because it was too short and hard to use.
  • Catherine Malandrino Style de Paris – 1.7 oz$80.00
    • I do not like receiving perfume samples because the chance of me actually buying one is slim to none. BUT, I really liked the fresh orangy scent of this one. It says that it has hints of orange blossom, sweet jasmine, and fresh gardenia.
  • Jurlique Calendula Redness Rescue Soothing Moisturising Cream$46.00
    • I’m not sure how I feel about this product yet. It’s intended to protect sensitive skins from flare-ups and reduce redness while providing all-day hydration. I definitely have redness but I didn’t notice it get any better while using this product. I will try it a few more times before I decide if I like it or not.
  • Davines This Is a Sea Salt Spray$28.00
    • I received 100ml of this and a full size is 250ml. Unfortunately, I wasn’t that impressed by it. Granted I was at the beach and my hair was already dirty. The product smells great and I’m going to need to try it a few more times before I know if I like it.
  •  Supergoop!® Anti-Aging City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30$42.00
    • This product is a moisturizer and a sunscreen. SPF 30 is pretty high considering most drug store moisturizers are between SPF 10 and 15. This product is intended to fight signs of premature aging and prevent further damage from UV rays. I wanted this to go on more like a moisturizer. It is intended for sensitive skin because it’s fragrance-free and shouldn’t clog pores.

**These prices are for full-size products

 

 

June 2016 Birchbox

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These are the products that I received in my June Birchbox. If you also have a Birchbox subscription I would love to hear about the products you got in the comments section below!

  • Benefit gimme brow-volumizing fiber gel$24.00
    • Wow, this stuff actually works way too well. I already have pretty thick eyebrows so when I tested this product I looked crazy. This would be great for anyone who needs more definition. This product definitely works and does as promised.
  • The Beauty Crop PBJ Smoothie Stick – Raisin the Roof -$14.95
    • I’ve never used a product like this before and I was really put off by the fact that it was called a PBJ Smoothie Stick. If this product smelled anything like peanut butter and jelly there was no way I was going to wear it. It goes on really smooth and makes my lips feel moisturized. This color isn’t really visible on me and it smells a little weird. BUT, I will definitely buy this again when I run out.
  • Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant $28.00
    • So I don’t really understand this product. This product is supposed to get rid of acne while making skin smoother. It’s also intended to calm redness and even unclog pores. I wasn’t impressed by it. I have really soft skin that I’ve dried out by using too many skin cleaning products. I will try it a few more times before I get rid of it.
  • COOLA® Mineral Face SPF 30 Unscented Matte Tint$36.00
    • I have very pale skin and I should wear sunscreen every day. So the idea of a matte face lotion that also provides SPF protection is awesome. I was originally put off by the color of this product because I am so pale. However, after getting a sunburn I decided to try it and found that the color blended just fine into my skin. I ended up giving this product to a friend but if I received another sample  I would keep it for myself and use it.
  • Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray$44.00
    • When you read the description this product sounds amazing but I just couldn’t get into it.  The product is part dry shampoo and part texturizer. I’ve never had much luck with dry shampoo and I definitely do not use texturizer on my hair. I have very thick wavy hair and these types of products make a mess of it. I had my mom test it and she didn’t give me much feedback. I do remember that it smelled fantastic.
  • BONUS – Birchbox has a bunch of deals where when you spend a certain amount you can get samples of certain products free. Check out this retailmenot.com page with a bunch of items you can get right now. So for this month since it was my very first box I was able to redeem one of these codes.

 

**The prices are for full-size versions of the products I received.

Birchbox Subscription

I started my Birchbox subscription in June. So far I’ve received two boxes and my August box should be arriving soon.

I’m planning to post about the products I receive and then a follow-up post reviewing those products. I am by no means an expert on beauty products.

The Birchbox subscription for women is only $10 a month and you receive 5 items. The items are almost always sample sized. I like this subscription because it gives me the opportunity to try new products that I otherwise would have overlooked.

If you’re interested in going on this journey with me follow this link & sign up for your own Birchbox subscription.

 

Target August Beauty Box

Yay! The new Target beauty box is out for August. It’s called the “Back to College” box and it has everything you need to make the transition back to school easier. For $7.00 this box is a $32 value.

Don’t get discouraged if it says “item not buyable” when you try to purchase it. I had to click on and off of the page about five times before I could get it to work. They’re so popular that everyone is trying to buy them at once!

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Here’s what you’ll find inside:

  • up & up™ Women’s 5-Blade Razor $10.39 for a pack of 5
    Combines coated blades and lubricating moisture strips with botanical oils to glide over your skin for a close, smooth shave.

    • I love to keep extra disposable razors around for vacations. I read a few reviews that said these were terrible but when you’re at the beach and really need to shave your legs you’ll be glad you have this free razor stuffed in your bag.

 

  • Juice Organics Repairing Shampoo & Conditioner – Coconut Full size $9.99 for each
    Achieve hydrated hair that’s less prone to breakage with a repairing blend of coconut, soy protein, borage seed oil, and aloe.

    • A 10oz shampoo or conditioner retails for $9.99 each. I’ve heard that this product smells great and makes your hair really soft.

 

  • Laneige Water Sleeping Mask 70ml for $24.00
    Recharge dehydrated skin while you sleep with ionized mineral water combined with aromatic Sleepscent to promote deep sleep.

    • I’m not big on “water” lotions, cremes, and masks. But I have very dry skin in the summer so I’m willing to try anything that will hydrate my skin.

 

 

  • Olay Make-up Remover Wipes – 25ct for $4.99
    Made for everyday use, these fragrance-free makeup remover wipes clear your face of dirt, oil, and makeup—even waterproof mascara.

 

  • Secret Clinical Strength Invisible Solid Antiperspirant/Deodorant – Full size $7.39
    With 2 times the sweat protection of regular antiperspirant, it absorbs odor while releasing a scent to keep you smelling clean and feeling dry.

    • I absolutely love this deoderant. No I do not sweat very much but when I do I have to be wearing this. It smells great and I feel confident in it all day.

 

  • CoverGirl Katy Kat Eye Mascara – Black – Full size $6.99
    Create a 360° cat eye with a sculpting brush that sweeps lashes up and out for lush voluminous lashes that won’t smudge or smear.

    • I’m currently collecting all of the mascara that I can in search of the perfect one. This adds one more to my collection!

 

  • Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips – $35.99 for 20 treatments
    Delivering professional-level results, these teeth-whitening strips remove 14 years of teeth stains to give you a whiter smile.

    • Forget what you know about whitening strips because when Crest created these they got rid of all of the frustration. I ordered these back in April and while they don’t exactly whiten evenly they will whiten your teeth. Better yet when you put them on your teeth they will stay put! Unlike the original white strips which moved around constantly.