Play! By Sephora Unboxing October 2016!

play-by-sephora-october

Hi everyone!

I have a look into the October Play! By Sephora box.  In case you don’t know, this is a monthly $10 curated subscription box featuring samples of different brands available at Sephora.  The theme for this month is The Cool Cut, with products that truly stand out from the crowd and destined to become mainstream with breakthrough formulas.

october-play

How cute is this Lipstix and Chill bag?!

Let’s get into the rest of the contents!

Skin Inc Pure Revival Peel 

An advanced, non-abrasive peel that is supposed to gently exfoliate skin to reveal a bright and renewed complexion.  The active ingredient is AC-11, which is derived from cat’s claw and helps gently exfoliate.  As an esthetician, I have a different expectation for a peel.  Personally, I didn’t see a difference with this at all and it actually left behind a sticky feel and residue. Not impressed at all.

Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed Oil 

A conditioning hair mask that strengthens strands while enhancing color and shine.  The unique ingredient in this is prickly pear oil that comes from the seeds and contains over 80% fatty acids that provides an unparalleled amount of deep nurturing oils to hair.  This mask it quite thick and has an interesting smell.  When I used this mask, I found that it did leave hair shiny but it didn’t have a conditioning effect as I assumed it would.  It does not state that it’s supposed to condition hair so it’s best to mix in your own conditioner with this mask to get knots out.

Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick in Driver’s Seat 

This matte liquid lipstick claims to last 8 hours and have a water-resistant, non-feathering formula. Jojoba, apricot and sunflower oils are included to provide a non-drying finish.  The shade I received was Driver’s Seat which is described as a warm pink however I kind of find it to be a terracotta-red type shade.  The shade is gorgeous and it is highly pigmented.  This does come off when drinking and eating food and I do find this formula drying to lips.  If you’re looking for a true matte liquid lipstick, then definitely check this one out.

drivers-seat

Blinc Mascara Amplified 

What makes this mascara special is the innovative “tube technology” that coats lashes with easy-to-remove, tiny water-resistant tubes that won’t run, smudge or flake.  Removing this mascara is simple as you only need warm water and a cotton round or ball to remove.  I’ve used this mascara before as part of my simple makeup routine and I love it for a natural look.  I find that it doesn’t provide much volume though.

Belief The True Cream Aqua Bomb 

This South Korean skincare brand is made with Scottish botanicals and based on the research of Duncan Napier, a Victorian botanist from Edinburgh.  This lightweight gel-cream is meant to tighten the look of skin and sink in for a smooth, supple feel.  It can also be used as a mask and tissued off after 5 minutes. I love the feel of this cream and it does feel very lightweight and refreshing when applied.  However, I did notice that as I was using this, my face started to breakout.  I’ve discontinued use and will try again to see if this was the source of my breakouts.

Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris 

Inspired by a love for the sophistication and allure of Paris, this scent layers fruity and floral notes over a musky base.  It contains notes of bergamot, pear, raspberry jasmine, musk and patchouli.  My sense of smell hasn’t been the best so I haven’t tried this one yet but I will update this once I’ve had a chance to give it a fair try.

sephora-end

Overall, I’m happy with this month’s box and look forward to receiving November’s.

What did you get in your box this month? 

Stephanie 

 

Play! By Sephora Unboxing August 2016!

Sephora Play August

Hi everyone!  I know took an extra week for my summer blogging break but I’m back!  I’ve been keeping pretty busy with my new business, getting ready for a wedding I’m attending this weekend, my regular work, researching, and working out.  Sending a huge thanks and welcome to all my new followers. 🙂

I’m bringing you a review for the August Play! By Sephora, which is a monthly $10 curated subscription box featuring samples of different brands available at Sephora.  The theme for this month is The Eye Openers, with products meant to refresh and recharge your beauty routine.

Clean Reserve Blonde Rose

A classic yet edgy bouquet of rose, jasmine and peony with a sandalwood base that is supposed to evoke feminine sophistication and allure.  I typically love rose scents but this smells awful.  Definitely not my type of perfume at all.  Doesn’t help that it has a combination of peony and jasmine, which is way too overwhelming for my taste.

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in I-544

An eyeshadow described as a, “highly saturated, iridescent pink granite eyeshadow made with a unique gel-powder formula and ultrafine pigments for smooth color.”  I like this shadow and the fact that you can create a smokey effect that’s subtle and pretty.  It shows up kind of purple on me but it can be sheered out or built up to more intensity.

Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil 12hr Wear Waterproof in Flirting Game 

An easy-to-apply pencil that has a 12-hour waterproof formula in a shimmery taupe shade.  So confession, I have been wearing this as eyeliner only.  I confused this with eyeliner but it’s actually supposed to be used on the contour of your eye.  Whoops. No worries though, it works just as well as an eyeliner and the taupe shade is a perfect enhancing shade that gives definition without a stark harshness. It lasts all day yet by the end of the day, it has smeared a bit.  I doubt it would hold up for 12hrs without a primer on my oily lids. The Make Up For Ever shadow and this are great shades for transitioning into the fall season.

Swatches below: Sephora Contour Eye Pencil (top) and MUFE Artist Shadow (bottom).

MUFE Artist Shadow and Sephora Contour Eye Pencil

 

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara

A lengthening and volumizing mascara that has a triple-black pigment formula to coat lashes.  I like this mascara as it makes my lashes look thicker and the pigment is intense.  However, just like the Perversion eyeliner, the formula does make my eyes water and sort of burn by the end of the day.  Because of this, I won’t be purchasing the full size.

Caudalie Resveratrol Eye Lifting Balm 

This eye cream is said to lift and smooth the eye area with a breakthrough patented formula while reducing the look of dark circles and puffiness. This eye cream does have a brightening effect on me- like a very muted opal iridescence. It works well under makeup and doesn’t irritate my eyes.  Will definitely keep this on my wishlist.

Lancome Energie de Vie Smoothing & Glowing Liquid Care Moisturizer 

A concentrated energizing liquid lotion that visually relieves dullness, diminishes signs of fatigue, and promotes a healthy-looking glow.  I haven’t tried this one yet because my skin has been acting up and I’ve been keeping my skin care routine simple until I’m back to normal.

Play by Sephora August

Since I liked about 4 of the six products included here, I’d say this was a good box overall.  Curious to see what next month holds.

Any particular favorites that you see here? Let me know in the comments below! 

Stephanie 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil Review!

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil

Happy Thursday everyone!

I’m excited for today’s post as about a little over a month ago I received confirmation that I was part of the SEPHORA Beauty Enthusiast community. They sent me a deluxe sample of Sunday Riley’s Luna Night Sleeping Oil and while I had tried a small sample of this before, I gave another test run. Let’s take a look at what this highly talked about oil is all about.

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

Described as, “a next-generation retinoid oil that improves skin plumpness and helps fight the appearance of wrinkles, redness, and pores for visibly clearer, younger-looking skin.” It’s supposed to help reduce pore size, improve the appearance of damaged skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and moisturize and calm the skin.

Pros 

Retinol as an ester

Antioxidant oils such as cold pressed chia oil, grapeseed oil and avocado oil

Improves skin texture

Provides excellent hydration

Includes chamomile which helps soothe irritation

Can be mixed in with your moisturizer for added benefits

Cons 

Essential oils might be irritating for some people

Very fragrant

May be too moisturizing for acne skin types

A bit pricey

Inclusion of dyes (albeit small)

Overall:  The first thing I noticed is that even before I opened the box, I could smell the product.  The scent is laced with chamomile that while it smells nice , it’s fairly strong.  Once this is applied though, the scent quickly dissipates.  The star ingredient is hydroxypinacolone retinoate, a trans-retinoic acid ester.  According to, The Skin Care Ingredient Handbook, hydroxypinacolone retinoate is a mild retinoic ester that decreases effect of sunlight-induced aging and can improve the appearance of acne-prone skin. An ester is a compound formed by a reaction between an acid and an alcohol, significantly reducing the risk of irritation; it’s perfect for people that have experienced irritation with retinol.  As I’ve stated before, my forehead has textural issues and I noticed it was smoother after using this for a few days.  This inclusion of the above mentioned oils and chamomile left my skin feeling very nice and hydrated but unfortunately because I have combination skin, it made me breakout on my jawline.  I would recommend this oil if you have normal to dry skin but if you have acne prone skin or are have sensitive skin, I would tread with caution. I found that I had better luck with Sunday Riley’s Good Genes.

Sunday Riley Luna Oil

What are your thoughts on Sunday Riley’s Luna Sleeping Night Oil?  

Stephanie 

Play! By Sephora Unboxing May 2016!

Sephora Play May

Hi everyone!

I was recently scratched off the waiting list for the monthly Play! By Sephora subscription box and couldn’t resist giving it a try.  This box is $10 a month where you receive 6 deluxe size samples from prestige brands. This is a curated box so you can’t choose what to receive but with so many amazing brands carried at Sephora, you’re bound to receive something you like.

Let’s take a look at what’s inside!

Sephora 1

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Kimchi 

The Amuse Bouche Lipstick is a new formulation for Bite Beauty that, “provides saturated lip color with weightless coverage and a citrus flavor made from fresh pressed fruit.”  I really love the citrus scent to this and the shade Kimchi is described as a shocking pink.  You can tone down the shade by blotting down and applying some lip balm.

Korres Wild Rose Sleeping Facial 

This is an overnight mask that is supposed to moisturize and brighten the skin thanks to the vitamin C found on here.  I had a bad experience with the Korres Greek Yoghurt line so I am a little scared to try this one.  My skin has been a little bit more oily so I may save this for when it’s feeling dry.

Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine 

Notes of blood orange and geranium are found in this scent that is supposed to bring to mind relaxed mornings, sunrises, and soft sea breezes.  It’s classified as zesty, energizing and playful. I’ve spritzed this a few times but I can’t seem to bring myself to love it.  It’s a bit overpowering and not really my type of scent.

Swatch

Top-Bottom: Bite Beauty Kimchi and Tarte Lip Crayon in Latergram

Here’s a swatch of Kimichi and Latergram. (See below for description of Latergram).

Sephora 2

 

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask 

I was excited to see this mask as it was included in a previous Birchbox and I really loved how soft and manageable this made my hair.  Read my review here.

Tarte Tartiest Lip Crayon in Latergram 

This is a mauve colored retractable lip pencil that has a matte finish. It’s purpose is to help prime and line lips for a perfectly contoured look.  Personally, I haven’t jumped on the lip contour trend and as of now, I don’t plan to.  However, the staying power on this lip liner is incredible and it’s highly pigmented.

Origins Maskimizer + Drink Up and Clear Improvement Masks 

I haven’t had an opportunity to try these yet but basically it’s a kit that has a charcoal mask for deep cleansing, a hydrating mask for moisturizing and a primer for the face mask that’s supposed to help it work better.  I’m a little bit skeptical of the primer as it’s only ingredient is a marine algae complex and it may work good for hydrating but not necessarily help the mask work better.

So far, I’m happy with this subscription box! 🙂

What are your thoughts on Play! By Sephora? 

Stephanie 

 

 

 

Sephora VIB 15% Mini Haul!

Sephora VIB

Hi readers!  I hope you all had a great weekend!

As promised, here are the final items that I purchased during the Sephora VIB sale along with mini reviews.  Enjoy!

Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer

I purchased this on a whim and because I couldn’t help but love the new mini travel size options.  This one cost $15 and it was smaller than I expected but it’s well worth it.  A little goes a long way and the color is visible enough to sculpt cheekbones but light enough to not look fake.

Becca Mineral Blush in Wild Honey

The Tarte Celebrated blush didn’t work out for me as it emphasized my pores and looked patchy so I exchanged it for this one instead.  This is described as a peachy nude shade and it looks so pretty on! This is nicely pigmented and blends in easily.  Perfect for any season.

 

Benefit Hoola

Top-Bottom: Benefit Hoola/Becca Wild Honey Blush

 

The Estee Edit by Estee Lauder The Barest Lip Color in So Bare

I must admit that I first walked by the Estee Edit display a couple of times but dismissed it.  After reading good reviews on the lipsticks and later taking time to swatch the colors, I had to have the shade So Bare.  As luck would have it, I got the last one and as soon as I tried it, it did not disappoint.  Lip balm texture and nicely pigmented color, you should give these a try.

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Double Dare

This shade is frequently out of stock online and in store so I was ecstatic when I found the last tube in store.  Describes as a cocoa blush shade, this shade is gorgeous and will look great on many skin tones. It has good lasting power though it does fade with heavy drinking and eating. You need this shade.

 

KVD EL

Top-Bottom: KVD Double Dare and Estee Lauder So Bare

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

One of the sales associates recommended this setting powder and although I haven’t used it as much, I do like.  It really helps set your concealer and helps prevent it from separating.

Sephora Sale

That’s it for my mini haul. 🙂

What did you get at the Sephora sale? 

Stephanie

Sephora VIB 15% Wish List 2016!

Sephora VIB

Hi everyone!  The annual Sephora 15% VIB event is upon us and I’ll be sharing my wish list with you guys today.  Let’s go!

Tarte Tartelette Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Celebrated 

I’ve been lusting over this blush for close to a year now and I will definitely be picking this up. It seems like the perfect blush shade to wear for any occasion.

Tarte Celebrated

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick

Aside from the shade Outlaw, I’m really liking these liquid lipsticks as they come in gorgeous shades and have lasting power.  I’m aiming for the shade Double Dare but Berlin, Bow N Arrow and Beloved are on my list to check out too.

KVD

Josie Maran Argan Infinity Lip and Cheek Creamy Oil Duo 

Lately I’ve been interested in lip oil products and since the new Lancome Juicy Lip Shakers are still not sold in stores, I may try these out. A coral and neutral shade are perfect for summer.

Josie Maran

Tom Ford Cream Cheek Color in Pieno Sole

I had to do a double, maybe even triple take, when I saw that Sephora was carrying Tom Ford.  Of course, this product is purely a wish and most likely I will not purchase it but it’s oh so gorgeous looking.

Tom Ford

Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid 

I’ve seen these around and since I have a bit of discoloration underneath my eyes due to a prominent vein, I want to give these a whirl.  I may try this lavender shade or the pink to see how it works.

UD

So far, this is it for my list.  I know it’s pretty short but I have my eye on other makeup releases so I kind of want to save up for those.  Who knows, maybe once I get to the store, I’ll add more. 😉 I’ll make sure to do a haul of what I bought later this month with mini reviews.

What’s on your Sephora list? 

Stephanie  

 

 

 

 

First Impressions: Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Cleanser Daily Foaming Wash!

ExfoliKate Cleanser

Happy Thursday everyone! Hope you are all doing well. 🙂

So when a new item is launched based on a cult favorite product, curiosity and excitement is bound to arise.  At least, this was the case for me when skincare brand Kate Somerville announced that their new cleanser stemmed from the best-selling exfoliating treatment ExfoliKate.  If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know I love, love, love Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate so I immediately went to get a sample at Sephora.

Is it just as good as the ExfoliKate? Keep reading for my thoughts.

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Cleanser Daily Foaming Wash

Described as, “a daily foaming cleanser that contains AHA’s and natural fruit enzymes to purify without over-drying.”

Pros 

Thoroughly removes oil

Has exfoliating properties with fruit enzymes plus lactic and glycolic acid

Easily lathers

Refreshes skin

Paraben, sulfate and phthalate free if you’re concerned about these ingredients

Cons 

A bit pricey compared to other professional brands- $38 for 4oz

Can feel a little stripping at times

Exfoliating properties may be too much for some as a daily cleanser

Overall: When I was trying this cleanser, I expected (and kind of hoped) that it would have the same earthy scent of the exfoliator but it doesn’t.  The scent on this is citrusy, almost like lemongrass, but not overpowering.  It lathers well and does a great job in removing oil but there were days were I felt it left my skin a little too tight so this might be a great choice for summer, when I tend to get more oily.  Although the instructions say to use this twice a day daily, I feel this might not work for everyone’s skin type as it can overexfoliate and dry out skin.  Personally, I would use this once a day, 3 times a week, especially if my skin is congested.  So while I do like this cleanser, it didn’t impress me enough to purchase the full size. I prefer to stick with ExfoliKate.

Have you tried Kate Somerville products? Which is your favorite?

Stephanie  

 

Besame Cosmetics Red Velvet 1946 Lipstick Review!

Besame Cosmetics

Happy Tuesday readers! How was your Valentine’s Day weekend?  I didn’t have anything planned really but at the last minute I went out with my family/friends to a lake where we celebrated an Un-Valentine’s day, haha.

Late last year, I picked up this cute set while I was waiting in line to purchase some items at Sephora.  I had heard about Besame Cosmetics and instantly fell in love with this unique vintage packaging. Later, I read that this lipstick, Red Velevet 1946, is the lipstick that Hayley Atwell wears on the show Marvel’s Agent Carter so of course I had to try it.

Let’s take a look!

Besame Cosmetic Matchbook and Lipstick

The matchbook has this quote written on the inside:

“Life without lipstick is like cake without frosting.” 

I couldn’t agree more. 🙂

Besame Cosmetics Lipstick and Matchbook Set 

Described as, “a set of five rich, highly pigment lipsticks housed in a portable matchbook, plus a full-size lipstick with a satin, matte finish that delivers full coverage in one coat.”

Pros

Highly pigmented

Good value ($23 for the lipstick and matchbook-lipstick alone is $22 and the matchbook alone is $6)

Long-wearing

Leaves behind a stain

Cons 

Difficult to apply

Doesn’t glide on as smoothly as I would like

Drying

Can accentuate fine lines/imperfections

Overall:  I really like this lipstick as the shade is gorgeous and it’s what I used in my Valentine’s Day look (check it out here).  If you’re looking for lipstick shades that are true an era (i.e. 1940s, etc) then Besame Cosmetics is your brand.  I did have trouble applying this straight out from the tube so a lip brush comes a bit handy.  The formula is a satin matte, which kind of tugged on my lips a bit when I was applying; however, prepping your lips beforehand-exfoliating and a little bit of lip balm-helps the appearance and and application process.  The lasting-power is great, however with eating and drinking, this will come off although it leaves behind a stain.

The lipstick matches are a cute addition and you’ll get about 1 use out of them.  Word of caution: make sure you close the matchbook well if you’re going to be carrying this in your purse.

Red Velvet 1946 Swatch

Here’s a swatch of Red Velvet 1946.

Have you tried Besame Cosmetics? 

Stephanie 

Sephora VIB Haul + Mini Review 2015!

Sephora VIB Haul 2015

Hi everyone!  Today I am sharing the items that I purchased for myself during the Sephora VIB 20% sale along with a mini review of each.  There’s a few that I ended up returning but here are the final products I am keeping.  Let’s get to it.

Face

Sephora Face

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 in Nude 

One of the best tinted moisturizers out there, I love using this for an everyday look.  It’s light-weight, doesn’t make me breakout and with a variety of finishes and colors, you’re bound to find one that is perfect for you.

Sephora Collection Colorful Face Powder Blush in Can’t Stop Smiling 

Once I saw the Sephora Collection Blush display, I knew I had to check them out.  After swatching a few shades that caught my attention, I ended purchasing Can’t Stop Smiling.  Described as a “salmon pink”, this blush has a surprisingly creamy consistency and is nicely pigmented.  It does take a little bit of an effort to blend out but overall, I do like it and the shade is unlike anything I own.

Beautyblender The Original Beautyblender 

Yes I finally gave in to the hype and I’m glad I did.  This tool is a game changer when applying foundation as it helps it melt into skin for a seamless look.  If you’ve been on the fence in trying this, I highly recommend that you do.

Sephora Blush

Sephora Blush Can’t Stop Smiling Swatch

Eyes

Eyes

Too Faced Shadow Insurance 

I had to pick up another tube of my favorite eye primer.  I have used this for years and I honestly have no intention of straying.  No other eye primer makes my eyeshadow last without creasing like this one.  My only complaint is that with every new tube, the consistency comes out a bit oily and watery but it goes back to its normal creamy consistency after.

Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Curling and Lifting Mascara 

I bought the travel sized version of this mascara and I will be purchasing the full-size once I am done.  I love the brush that comes with this which really does elongate and curl lashes.  Best of all, it doesn’t irritate my eyes.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Jet Black 

When looking for a liquid eyeliner that won’t budge, I don’t have to look past this Stila one.  Hands down the best liquid eyeliner I have tried so far and another favorite item I’ve repurchased throughout the years.

Lips

Burberry Lips

Burberry Burberry Kisses Lipstick in Peach Delight No. 57

Ah, Burberry.  After falling in love with their blush, I wanted to try out other items so I choose these two lip products.  This lipstick is a nice pink-peach color that can be used as an everyday shade or paired with a more dramatic look.  It glides on smoothly and it’s neither matte nor creamy but very comfortable to wear.  Plus, the cap is magnetic and how awesome is the design?

Burberry Burberry Kisses Lip Gloss in Nude Beige No. 17

I always have room for a nude beige lipgloss and this fits the bill.  The gloss isn’t sticky and it gives a nice glow to the lips without making them look overly shiny.  I will be honest and say that the lasting power on this is not long-maybe about 2 hours- and it’s not the most moisturizing. But, I do love how pigmented this one is and it looks great on its own or over lipstick.

Burberry Swatches

That’s it for this haul.  Are any of these your favorites?

Sephora End

See you Thursday, 

Stephanie 

Sephora VIB Sale Wish List 2015!

sephora

Hi everyone!  How was your weekend?  I stayed home on Halloween, curled up watching movies including Hocus Pocus and I really enjoyed my low key night.  I was also leafing through the Sephora holiday catalog that arrived over the weekend, excited about the sale coming up in the next few weeks and decided to share my wish list with you. 🙂

burberry

Burberry Kisses Lipstick 

I already love their blush and have heard great things about their lipsticks.  Shades I’m interested include Nude Beige and Devon Sunset.

ysl

YSL Rouge Volupte 

Love the packaging on this- so sleek and elegant and they have a great selection of shades.  I’m eyeing Peach Passion.

 

hourglass

Hourglass Extreme Sheen High Shine Lip Gloss 

I’ve been browsing Hourglass products and two lip gloss shades have caught my attention: Child, a pale pink beige and and Fortune, a festive metallic golden pink.

kevyn aucoin

Kevyn Aucoin The Contour Book The Art of Sculpting + Defining Volume II

With the contouring craze, this looks like a nice set to have.

beauty blender

Beauty Blender Set 

I have yet to try out the Beauty Blender-yes, I can hear the gasps now but it’s just one of those things I’ve glossed over and thought of as unnecessary.  However, I might just bite the bullet and see what the fuss is all about and this looks like a good investment.

guerlain

Guerlain Rouge G Intense Shine Lipstick 

Okay, I will be shallow for a moment and say that I mainly want this lipstick because of the gorgeous packaging.  So pretty and luxe and touch ups would be a joy! Unfortunately, this comes with a hefty price tag so the discount might help.

 

dior

Dior Addict Fluid Stick 

Another great product that is constantly raved about.  Whisper Beige and Pandore are shades I am looking at trying.

Of course as is often the case, my mind will change and I may pick up something else entirely but I’ve been lusting over these for a while so we’ll see. 🙂

What items are you looking forward to picking up?

Stephanie